Monday, January 26, 2015
Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
(If you're one of the four people in the world who haven't read or seen HP yet, be warned there may be spoilers below.)
The biggest thing I always remember about book 4 is that it's the one that made me an all-obsessive, totally die-hard Potter fan. I didn't read these until my first year of college, and I remember my older sister giving me crap for reading "kids books." I didn't care, though. I just wanted to read book 1 to see what all the hype was about. Of course I really liked it, and continued onto book 2. The first two books were really cute to me and interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading, but only that. Book 3 upped the ante a lot. But book 4...oh good heavens. I remember waking up early to finish reading the end of the 4th book before going to an early class. Yup, actually waking up early to finish the "kids book." And the epic-ness of the ending just left me reeling. I couldn't believe how...OMG!!!...it was. It was definitely my favorite installment up to this point, and still one of my faves overall.
One thing I really didn't like was I didn't think they gave the beginning scene--the chaos at the world cup--enough attention or emphasis. It was just sort of there and gone in the film, but in the book it was the catalyst for the entire plot. I thought they should have done that a bit better in the film.
Also, the films aren't so great at doing history and back story. The pensieve was done fairly well, but as in the 3rd film, the history of Barty Crouch and his son, along with Karkarof's role, could have been much more clear.
And I always wish we could see more of the Dursleys in the films. Even though they are essentially minor villains, they serve as the bookends for Harry's adventures, and I always feel like the films are somewhat incomplete without them.
All the other actors used in the films are fantastic, though. Brenden Gleeson as Mad Eye? Awesome! Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter? Perfect in a love-to-hate-her sort of way. And who better to play the epic villain than Ralph Fiennes himself? Let's face it. The cast is awesome. (Yeah, I'm gonna pointedly ignore typical jokes made about the fact that Robert Pattinson plays Cedric. :D)
To speak about the book itself, I really think this was the first installment in which we saw Harry as more man than boy. Of course he's still a teenager, but he's facing this terrible evil and tragedy, and we see his very real and heart-rending bond with his parents. I think that's what connected me so much to the series. Before, it was a cutsy (if still compelling) story about a young wizard. At this point, it became so much bigger than that. From here on out this will be a full-fledged, good-vs.-evil, epic fantasy (My favorite kind) that just happens to be experienced through the eyes of teenage and child wizards.
I'll say it again: J.K. Rowling is a freaking genius!
(Trailer for Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire film.)
What's your favorite HP installment? How do you think they did with this film?