Tuesday, November 22, 2005


(Read on only if you're a Harry Potter fan. Possible spoilers, but what the hell, you'll know the story anyway.)

Ever since the first movie released, I've been wondering about the fourth one. The fourth book is the first of the long ones and I was rather curious to see how they would manage to fit in everything. Well, I got my answer yesterday.

The 1550 show at PVR Priya, and the people milling around are mostly kids; a couple of grownups hover around, clearly uncomfortable among the chattering teenage crowd.

The beginning of the movie brings a huge reaction from the audience. Whoops, whistles and very obviously feminine screams, as if it's a red carpet show, and not a movie screening. More whoops when the title is shown, and you know that it's a movie they've been waiting a long time to see.

The plot, of course, we all know: Harry is in his fourth year at Hogwarts and must compete in the Triwizard Tournament, a highly dangerous tournament between the schools of magic. As for the execution of the plot, the script isn't different from the book at all; to bring in changes, would, of course, have been considered sacrilige by the millions of Harry Potter fans the world over, but having read the book more times than I would care to admit, I did find myself wishing that the scenes weren't so predictable.

The movie mostly does live up to expectations. The special effects are truly spectacular; the dragon, the lake scene, last task - everything is as it should be. Though the Quidditch match, after a brilliant beginning that had me wanting to shout and scream alongside the Quidditch fans in the stadium, is a huge letdown, if I may use that word for something that - well, you'll see. I don't want to spoil it.

However, if you ask me whether I liked the movie - well, no, I didn't. Where this movie lacks is in the atmosphere. They've obviously made a conscious effort to keep it dark, but somehow they can't quite capture that Hogwarts atmosphere that the third one portrayed so well, so that you feel like you're being led through all the important scenes, but there is no connectivity.

Also, of course, they've had to cut out some scenes. Which is justifiable, but they've left out such brilliant pieces of Rowling imagination as Winky, Ludo Bagman and Loony Luna Lovegood. And several of the old characters are missing - Dobby, Mrs Weasley, Sirius Black, and of course, our old friends - the Dementors. Hagrid hardly makes an appearance, and the Dursleys are not even mentioned. I would so love to have watched that Ton Tongue Toffee scene.

Other peeves: the graveyard scene wasn't scary at all - Voldemort is supposed to be sinister and snake-like, not loud and so - well - underwhelmingly evil. Also, whatever happened to the Parting of the Ways? Isn't that almost the most important part of the book? And Dumbledore, as usual, disappoints: there's one scene in which he literally shakes Harry in his anger - and that is NOT in accordance with Dumbledore's character, dammit.

What I love most about the Potter books is the history - Harry's parents, the family connections, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. It's this stuff that makes the books appealing to me. And the movies can never capture that. Even the third movie, which remains my favourite, couldn't quite capture what I consider the most important thing in the third book - the bond of friendship between Harry's father and his friends. This movie, like the previous ones, does make an effort to give us an account of the past, but again, like the previous ones, it doesn't quite succeed.

So, yes, do go and watch it. Even if you don't like it, you'll definitely be mesmerized by the special effects. In fact, I think I'll be watching it again soon.


P.S. - Which country is that Krum guy from? Cuz, dude, if they make 'em all like that, I for one am moving to that country, he-he.
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