Directed by Mike Newell | Year 2005
In the first Harry Potter movie we got to see and know our dearest enemy Voldemort. In the second movie the guy was clearly busy with some other things, so Harry had to deal with him indirectly. And the third movie was only about Voldy’s servants, there wasn’t a direct confrontation between the bald villain and the heroic Harry unfortunately.
Now, the fourth part of the series is a true spectacle, including the necessary hormones. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a combination of all three previous movies: you get baldy Voldemort, you get mystery and you get a phenomenal cast.
The movie may seem to be like a real high school drama in some of the scenes, but for the most part, secrecy and friendship are the two core concepts that stand out. After a disastrous World Cup Quidditch, the Triwizard Tournament is held at Hogwarts in which representatives of three different schools (for witchcraft and wizardry) have to overcome three bizarre challenges in order to win the tournament. The Goblet of Fire spits out the names of the candidates. And guess what: Harry Potter is included, even though he is underage.
With the story being fueled by a sensational adventure, Mike Newell knows how to bring all the familiar elements of the franchise together and beautifully produces one of the most memorable scenes in Harry Potter cinematic history. Take for example the symbolic “Harry on his broomstick VS evil” imagery. Of course: much has been written about the ever-darkening tone of the series. However, Newell also puts joy on the to-do list.
Unfortunately though, Newell could have worked a lot more on the emotional aspect of the characters. There is some development with Hermione, but honestly risks have not been taken to elaborate on any of the characters’ psyche. Ron’s solid one-liner “bloody-hell” is now pronounced with the voice breaking of a thoroughbred adolescent. And Hermione who will date the ‘popular guy’ while her two pals are stunned to the ground, sets the definite tone: jealousy (and love) are now suddenly equal enemies as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
A new director on the set could do wonders and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire exemplifies this statement once again. I am sure that another screenwriter, other than Steve Kloves, would take this success even further by distancing the movie plot somewhat more from the original story by Rowling. Only then, a shorter, stronger and more coherent movie could be created. And obviously the problem remains that The Goblet of Fire consists of separate and self-contained pieces which are great as individual scenes but lack the coherence of a strong movie.
Being a combo of all three previous movies, The Goblet of Fire is indeed a true spectacle on the big screens, but still a bit rough around the edges.