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The years come and pass; the seasons rise and fall; and young wizards Harry, Ron and Hermione have reached adulthood, along with their actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. It’s a strange experience for all of us growing older with them in real life. And here is their fourth adventure, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Online, in which, the posters promises us, dark and hardship wait ahead.
Could that subdued second adjective be hinting at metaphors for adolescent upheaval? If so, it is an adolescence that so far free of acne, anti-authority behaviors and tattoos – except the one painfully left on our young hero by the demonic Voldemort. However, Harry is feeling the painful arousing of romance, and Hermione is more and more irritated that the two useless, burdening boys she’s hanging around with do not seem to understand or appreciate her on any level other than buddy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Online.
Dim is what all fantasy films wants to be now and so do Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Online– and director Mike Newell has undoubtedly taken this to heart. We get an opening scene full of snakes, skulls and corridors which Newell has apparently lit with a single 30-watt light bulb. I’ve tried my best just about to be able to recognize the redoubtable Eric Sykes, portraying an elderly caretaker stumbling upon a hugger-mugger conspiracy of baddies in which the inexpressible Dark Lord’s visage is still hided. It is actually that of Ralph Fiennes, who we will get to witness in sequences of Stygian gloom, his nose altered to resemble that of a malicious tabby.
JK Rowling’s outstanding novel has been largely reduced, though the result comes in at over two-and-a-half hours. There is lengthiness, but Newell draws the action forward; he provokes the young actors’ personalities with a cleverness and design that completely overpassed Chris Columbus, who started the series. I’m not sure that Newell hasn’t got a surer touch with the element than the more stylish Alfonso Cuarón, who directed the last screen Potter.
The plot-machinery is stimulated arbitrarily into action by the formal introduction of a sporting event – the Tri-Wizard Cup – which exposed once again how oddly out-of-date Hogwarts is, with its Victor Ludorum ethos. That mighty disciplinarian Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) accidentally leaks out some clips round the ear that would take him to court if he tried them in any modern muggle establishment. Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), more or less sticking to the Irish brogue his role continued from the late Richard Harris, claims that Hogwarts is to play host to two other schools who are competing for the three-way trophy, a dangerous game that can grant death for its players – and in which Harry Potter finds himself a confused and unwilling competitor.
Some dreadfully fierce young warriors step into the dining hall to present themselves and also a crocodile of young French ladies, flaunting insolently in a uniform that made me think of the misses once instructed by Miss Jean Brodie – and Dame Maggie Smith comes back, of course, as Professor McGonagall, but has little involvement other than keep a look of quizzical concern under her silly battered witch’s hat. Fans of the Potter franchise know that each movie brings us a thrilling, ambiguous new grown-up who may or may not be bad, and this time it’s Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody, portrayed by Brendan Gleeson.
The Tri-Wizard games bring a bunch of spectacle and fun, with a flying dragon chase, underwater rescues and an adventure in a privet labyrinth interestingly reminding of Kubrick’s The Shining – in all of which Harry’s scenes remain magically in place. But the film only goes humanly exciting with the sophisticating prom-style ball which the young Hogwarts students attend forcefully. It is then that Harry and Ron find themselves raged, confused and regretful to witness that Hermione scrubs up into a premier-league hottie and is being accompanied by the young foreign wizard superstar – but she’d accepted his invitation only because she was tired of waiting for either of these two fools (particularly Ron) to do the decent job and invite her. Hermione is furious and heartbroken at their dowdyish humiliation, and Emma Watson’s vigorous, confident performance beautifully proves that inside and outside the world of magic there is a growing difference between a teenage girl’s status and her hastening emotional and intellectual development.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Online should please the fans; for those like me who are outside but sympathetic to the faith, it seems like another nicely made, good-natured and high-spirited family movie, which is dramatically hindered through being stuck within school grounds, and by having no powerful representative of the muggle world for Harry to play against. But what courage excitements the Harry Potter films are, speaking strongly and intelligently to their fans. The Star Wars prequels were lengthy; the Matrices died of embarrassment; the forthcoming Narnia movies have yet to showcase themselves. It may yet be that the Harry Potters will overcome even Peter Jackson’s honored Tolkien masterpiece.