Potter and the Goblet of Fire (12A)
Written by J.K. Rowling (novel) and Steven Kloves (screenplay)
Directed by Mike Newell
I hold my hands up - I have never read a Harry Potter book, nor had I
seen any of the film adaptations prior to this, the fourth instalment
in the series. Directed by Mike Newell, Harry Potter and the Goblet of
Fire is the most recent of JK Rowling's stories to reach cinemas.
As a Harry Potter virgin I wondered whether this film would make any
sense to me - whether it would stand alone as a film in its own right. It does
and I was not disappointed. The film is intriguing from the start - a
strange dream which is more of a premonition, disaster at the Quidditch
World Cup and Harry's mysterious nomination for the Tri-Wizard Competition.
It is this competition that is central to the story and its three rounds
feature dragons, near drowning and death. The film is exciting, mysterious
and genuinely scary in parts. The dragons are perhaps the best feature
- so well animated I wondered whether dragons actually exist!
If there is one downside, it's that the central characters - Harry (Daniel
Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) - are quite
irritating. They are meant to be fourteen-year-olds yet much of the dialogue
makes them sound middle-aged. A few 'sod offs' and 'bloody hells' did
not convince me that I was listening to the conversation of early teens.
The content alone was effective enough to illustrate that these characters
had reached their teens. Consequently it did feel a bit Enid Blyton in
places - Enid Blyton on acid perhaps.
Certainly there were moments when I sat blank faced as others gasped
in horror or excitement, however this made little impact on my appreciation
of the film. It simply made me want to go out, buy the books and DVDs
and get 'Pottered'. This is a magical film and I recommend it to everyone,
from Potter fanatics to newcomers.