Amidst the traffic jams of the evening rush hour, we managed to make it to watch the Goblet of Fire today. It was a really good movie (not a really good adaptation, but a good movie). I didn’t have very high expectations at first, I feared for the worst; since this is my favourite HP book, and I don’t want it to be spoiled by a lousy movie which can’t decide if it wants to be a movie or an adaptation.
The start of the movie was a bit rushed though, they mentioned the scene at the House of Riddle and suddenly Harry wakes up, in The Burrow. That totally didn’t explain how the “stay at the Dursleys for at least a while” theory of Dumbledore worked. And there was no Mr Weasley vs the Dursleys. Daym. Then they were off to the Quidditch World Cup and there was practically nothing to show as well, except for Krum. And they just mentioned the Irish winning in passing. Eww. Anyway, the flow of the movie wasn’t really that coherent for people who’ve read the book, like me. I suppose for people who’ve only watched the movie, then this should be one of the best HP movies. The battle with the Hungarian Horntail was amazing. Must really salute the CGI people – the dragon looked super real, almost exactly like what I had in mind (except my imaginary Horntail was darker, and had a longer snout.) Oh, never mind, shall not let the movie disrupt my own interpretation of the story. ^__^ I was quite surprised that I remembered exactly who fought which dragon. While they were pulling out the dragons, I just knew that Fleur’s was the Irish Green, Krum’s the Chinese Fireball, and Cedric’s the Swedish Short Snout. Hp Syndrome strikes again, I guess.
Second task was…okay. Not exactly what I expected but the part where Harry fought off the Grindylows (or were those Kappas?) was cool. They were damn freaky, like sotong. I wished they did rub in the part about Harry and his unnecessary “heroic” acts. How thick can you get anyway? Third task was not really that daunting. I thought it was supposed to be the creatures inside the maze that made it tough, but it turns out that the maze itself was the horror. No Dementor, no Sphinx, nothing at all. Was kind of looking forward to the sphinx, but the CGI guys probably had their hands all tied up already. So, just a crazy Krum and a not-so-glamourous Cedric.
Now, the best, best part of the whole show was the graveyard scene, where dear old Voldy regains his body. I knew it was Ralph Fiennes who played Lord Voldemort, but frankly they could’ve just gotten a nobody and it wouldn’t make a difference. They really made Voldemort hideous, with the snake-like eyes, slits for a nose and all. Wonderfully hideous, but still wonderful. (And believe it or not, I actually remembered the incantation that Wormtail said too, and I was a little bit annoyed why they cut out certain parts of the incantation. I mean, if you’re going to include it, might as well let it be complete la.) When the Death Eaters reappeared, it wasn’t really as chunted as I imagined. Plus, Voldy’s little comeback speech was shamefully cut short. And they didn’t make the Death Eaters kiss Voldemort’s robes – the sight of Lucius’s face stuck on the ground kissing the clothes of Voldy would be so, so priceless.
The aftermath of the whole incident was also cut short, in the sense that there wasn’t really an urgency to immediately toughen up their defenses as in the book, and no Fudge making a fuss over stuff. And when Dumblydore was talking about Cedric’s death, I half expected Malfoy to be rolling his eyes in the audience when the camera shifted to him, but no, he was just there listening almost with a sombre mood. At least show some glee la, if you’re supposed to be evil.
Moving on to the casts and other stuff, first and foremost, what is up with Dumbledore?! I do not like Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Dumbledore at all (Richard Harris did a much much better job, but…*sigh*). He made Dumbledore this desperate, bumbling, messed up, and overly slow headmaster. When Harry’s name flew out of the Goblet and he was sent to the other chamber, Dumbledore almost lost it. He just nailed Harry to the wall. The Dumbledore-in-the-Book would have never done this to Harry. He should’ve been more calm and trusting, like he always is. When he warned Harry about the dangers of the Tournament, his tone sounded almost sinister. Actually, throughout the whole movie, I didn’t really like his ‘tone’, which was quite ‘ham-sap-lo’-ish, to be honest.
Viktor Krum was a little bit of a disappointment though. I expected a more good-looking, less buff, a little shorter Krum. And he was supposed to be duck-footed. Apart from appearing at the Yule Ball with Hermione, and several meaningful glances throughout the whole movie, he was practically fluff. I at least expected the hilarious attempt to pronounce Hermione’s name to be included in the movie. But no, they expect you to focus on the non-existent Harry-Cho sparks. Cho was okay, but she sort of stammered a lot while delivering her lines. She looked good with Cedric, who was absolutely handsome. No wonder JK Rowling had to kill him off so that Harry would actually stand a chance with Cho in Book 5. Lol. Cedric was a bit of a jerk at times though, I thought he was more of the “strong, silent type” or even boy scout-ish to a certain extent. His pathetic screaming while in the maze kind of threw me off. Have some sense la, and shoot those red sparks instead of wailing like a baby. Fleur was okay pretty, not exactly what I expected of a half-Veela (they totally wrote off Veelas…how can? Maybe casting directors couldn’t find enough hot chicks.) Saving grace for them was that cow, Rita Skeeter and her Quick-Quotes Quill.
The “This should have been in the movie!” List and My Top Whines
- Peeves!!!! I miss him so so dearly. He should’ve been in all of the movies. Lazy CGI people.
- Dudley clutching his butt when Mr Weasley comes by to pick Harry up.
- Winky and Dobby. I mean, drunk Winky in toga and ever-entertaining Dobby.
- Ludo Bagman. One less idiot in the movie = less fun.
- Quidditch. Only showing the start of the Quidditch World Cup finals is not counted. Plus, no Veelas, no leprechaun gold, no Omnioculars, no screaming rosettes (at least not up close).
- Veelas. Is it that hard to find hot chicks in UK ah?
- Krum catching the Snitch. For once, show la someone else other than Harry catching the Snitch. Plus, World Cup standard okay. Supposed to be damn chunted.
- No wizard and witch dangling upside down at the World Cup, instead we’re given a lot of fire. You think what, Armageddon ah?
- Hermione’s hair should be straight for the Yule Ball! And she looks just as bloody pretty as she always was, it’s just that Harry and Ron were blind all along. And what’s with all her weeping and whining in the movie? She should’ve left that to Ron.
- Everyone snogging in the bushes after the Yule Ball.
- Draco’s non-existent parts in the movie. Sadly, his very limited screen time was partially donated off to the ferret. Sorry, Tom Felton fans.
- Moody yelling “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” in class, and actually performing the Imperius Curse on students.
- Hermione exposing Rita Skeeter’s secret.
- Madam Maxime’s size. She’s tall, but I have a feeling that she should be a lot wider too.
- The Death Eaters kissing Voldemort’s robes. And Voldemort’s great comeback speech.
- Charlie Weasley. Okay la, not that important character now, but another possible hot guy. Perhaps the casting people were too lazy to scout for more hot guys. >__<
- Percy and his intolerably huge ego. He was supposed to be in the Yule Ball to sub for the sick Barty Crouch (who was unfortunately never sick in the movie, just dead).
- The confession of Barty Crouch Jr. after Veritaserum. There wasn’t really a twist in the movie as in the book, because it was all too obvious that Moody (aka Crouch Jr) was desperately trying to help Harry. But Movie Harry’s not that smart to figure that out.
- The 1000 Galleons that Harry was supposed to receive as prize money for winning the tournament. So this means that Harry would not be able to donate the money to Fred and George, so how’re they going to explain the whole Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes thing next time? Unless they’re going to erase the whole thing off the next movie. Evil screenplay writers.
Yay! Factor i.e. Favourite Moments that were Included in the Movie
- Malfoy turning into a ferret. Buahahaha…I’m evil.
- Fleur giving Ron a big ‘ol smackeroo.
- The graveyard scene, however incomplete it was.
- Harry getting harassed by Moaning Myrtle in the prefect’s bathroom. W00t!
- The Madam Maxime-Hagrid relationship. The absence of the whole “big bones” issue was sorely missed.
- Seeing the whole Quidditch World Cup stadium for 5 seconds. It was magnificent. Pity we didn’t get to see Malfoy’s mom, who “looks like she always has dirt up her nose”.
- Fred and George. Just having them in the movie was a happy thing. Nice touch by incorporating the whole betting thing into the Triwizard Tournament instead of the World Cup.
Final Verdict: If you haven’t read the book, go watch the movie. It’ll be great. If you’ve read the book and love it, you should still check it out, but don’t expect too much. ^__^