Monday, January 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Until The Half-Blood Prince came out The Goblet of Fire was my favorite film in the Harry Potter franchise.

As a story, The Goblet of Fire is my favorite in the series because it’s the absolute game-changer for the characters and wizzarding world. The last act bring back the villain that the entire world is terrified of, the villain that so many people deny the existence of because it’s easier than worrying he may come back someday and for the first time Harry fails.

In the prior three stories of Harry and Hogwarts our three friends always emerge victorious. In year one Harry, Ron & Hermione keep the sorcerer’s stone safe, year two they discover the chamber of secrets, save Ginny and unknowingly destroy the first horcrux. Year three might seem like Harry is defeated because he frees his godfather Sirius Black, but can’t clear his name and Wormtail gets away, but as Dumbledore so precisely points out at the end – the innocent man got free – Harry still won. The Goblet of Fire doesn’t have such an ending; Harry witnesses a friend die and unwillingly helps Voldemort be reborn. It’s a dark, surprising place and completely sets up the rest of the series and where it has to go.

As happy as I am that David Yates really made the Harry Potter franchise his own, I think Mike Newell did a fantastic job on his part of the series. If Newell hadn’t handled Goblet of Fire so well Yates would not have been able to take the series to the heights it’s at now.

Voldemort: The Boy-Who-Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry! Do you want to know what really happened thirteen years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? It was love. You see, when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, it provided him with the ultimate protection, I could not touch him. It was old magic, something I should have foreseen.

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