Sunday, March 30, 2014

Leaving Hogwarts and the Goblet of Fire

HARRY POTTER AND the goblet of fire
book 2002     movie 2005     first read 2003?     first watch 2005

A fourth-in-a-row return to the school of wizardry and witchcraft, where I marvel at the fast pace, cleverly constructed plot and the connections to North By Northwest.


The Goblet of Fire is both the most handsome and the least handsome of the Harry Potter films and it's the book where the story finally accelerates and makes it impossible to stop reading for more than a few hours. My memories of first reading the book are very dim but I do remember receiving it as a gift from my uncle, surprised that there was a new Harry Potter book. How did I ever survive without internet? Anyhow, it was the last of the books that I missed out on initial release and thus the last one I first read in German. The movie was a slight disappointment after my obsession with Prisoner of Azkaban and given the fact that I knew nothing of Robert Pattinson and David Tennant back then. My main focus lay on Emma Watson being even more gorgeous than before and how much I wanted to be Hermione -- these days I mainly get mad at the dress being pink instead of blue. Which brings me to another importance about this entry in the series; this is when the hormones start going wild. Growing up with this story, although I was a bit younger than the protagonists, I took keen interest of every small hint towards romantic relations between the characters. Actually, I used to ship Hermione+Draco and Hermione+Harry - that is, until Goblet of Fire came along.


Hermione always had a weird taste in men - Gilderoy Lockhart was by far the worst, but Victor Krum seemed like a weird choice to me as well. However, I couldn't help but grin triumphantly during the whole Yule Ball scene... especially at the end. Both Harry and Ron care more for outer beauty, and it's hard to blame them for it. After all, Fleur is half-Veela. Don't know what I'm talking about? Well, it's time to use my favourite phrase when it comes to Harry Potter; Should've read the book. Despite this little problem - that's actually quite big in this particular movie - the movie added a few things of its own to spice up matters. For instance (and I only noticed it this time), Cho Chang has a Scottish accent! No wonder Harry falls for her. But she's not the only Scotsman in this film, and no, I'm not talking about Oliver Wood (who seems to have vanished from the movies after Chamber of Secrets, leaving the Quidditch-team captain-less). It's Mr. Tennant AKA My Doctor, who plays the small but important part of Barty Crouch Jr in this film. Further eye candy is offered by Robert Pattinson in the role of The-best-thing-that-ever-came-out-of-Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory. I wish he would make more British movies - his accent is delicious.

My favorite scene in the movie - cheek by jowl with Professor McGonagall.

Sadly, there are a few things missing in this film as well. Quite a few, to be honest. If only Winky and Dobby had been included, everything would've been fine, but it takes some of the power and humour of this and the following films not to include them. Not speaking of the questions it arises. A lot of 'fillers' were cut from the book as well, so that the movie feels a bit rushed in places. But that's only when you look at it from a biased perspective. Well, the Quidditch World Cup thing could've been longer at least. And Professor Trelawney could've made an apperance. Sirius could've been there at the end. Ron and Harry could've stayed unfriended for a longer time - okay, I'm stopping myself. Let's take a look at the more positive things about Goblet of Fire. Like I have indicated, the level of suspense in this book is astonishing compared to the previous ones. Prisoner of Azkaban had a good story already but in Goblet of Fire, everything about the series becomes clearer and more mysterious at the same time - this certainly isn't a book for little children anymore. The different challenges Harry must face as part of the Triwizard Tournament, as well as things the whole trio must handle outside of that (including fights between them) is, well, spellbinding. Dumbledore's character becomes more complex and dark as well, leading up to the constrained turn the relationship between him and Harry will take in Order of the Phoenix. The bond between Sirius and Harry strengthens. And I haven't even mentioned the whole thing about Voldemort returning.

Did anyone say "news about Voldemort returning"?

As a movie, Goblet of Fire is often regarded one of the weaker entries in the series, but it did add some priceless images to our imagination of dragons, Merpeople and most importantly, Lord Voldemort. When you ignore the terrible hairstyles most of the boys are sporting and instead appreciate the effort that was put into digitally erasing the signs of puberty on the leading actors' faces, it's quite an enjoyable film. The book shouldn't be dismissed by fans of the films, in fact Goblet of Fire is the first film that I would argue can't be fully enjoyed without knowing Rowling's amazing work. 

PS: Mike Newell once said in an interview I saw at the Harry Potter studios tour in London, that he was hugely inspired by North by Northwest when making this movie. I noted in my initial post that I would take this as an opportunity to finally watch the Hitchcock classic and compare the two. As expected, I loved it and do think Goblet of Fire is similar to it from a few angles. Both movies have an atmosphere of desperation and fear and the protagonists have to take on roles they weren't prepared to take. So I guess there's some truth to what Newell was saying.


Make sure to CLEAR YOUR MIND OF ALL EMOTIONS AND MEMORIES before next month to read about the FIFTH entry in the Harry Potter franchise; The Order of the Phoenix.



  1. That dress looks SO much better blue! I loved the final graveyard scene in this film. Seeing Voldemort for the first time was perfect. I have North by Northwest on my Blind Spot list, I'm going to keep Newell's comment in mind when I'm watching it. Love these Harry Potter posts, btw!

    1. It does, doesn't it? I don't get how the screenwriters can ignore these things. I mean they created this dress specifically for the movie, it's not like it's been made by someone already - so why the hell not just take some blue fabric? North by Northwest is wonderful, I didn't have the time to write a full post on it but you're in for a treat.
      - Thanks, it's great to get some feedback on the project :D

  2. I still can't see a significant connection between Goblet of Fire and North by Northwest, but okay lol

    I saw this film twice this week - it was on TV, just one of those things - and once again I enjoyed it more than the previous times! Cedric gets better looking with each viewing too, haha.

    1. It's not that big but it's not out of the blue completely.
      Wow, that's impressive - Cedric is a hunk. I can't believe none of my real-life friends find Pattinson attractive.

  3. I once tried to school my brother, who was probably like 7 at the time, about the attractiveness of hot cheekbones, using RPatz's Cedric as an example. Yeah...

    This film is one of the most beloved by non-book readers because of the three tasks, which were indeed v.v. good. I have grown to like it more and more but I still remember how disappointed I was because the 4th book was my favourite then.

    1. Yeah I don't remember my feelings toward the fourth book back in the day, but it's certainly a favorite. I did notice that non-book readers like the movie a lot and that's why you have to distinguish between the movie on its own and the movie compared to the book. *WINKY, GODDAMN IT!*

  4. While Prisoner of Azkaban angers me more, technically speaking, Goblet of Fire is the worst adapted book of the series. While PoA loses all purpose, GoF loses.... everything. I don't mind a lot of subplots were cut (S.P.E.W., anyone? Or even Bagman and the twins). The biggest fail of the movie is cutting out Sirius almost completely (and then giving him that horrible fire-coal face. Order of the Phoenix got that right; this didn't). This is the story that desperately needed Harry and Sirius to build their relationship so that his inevitable death in the fifth movie would have a stronger impact. Here... nothing. He's almost entirely absent. And then there's Rita Skeeter's general lack of purpose. The movie is also filled with an abundance of plot holes because nothing is explained--how did Crouch Jr get out of Azkaban? How did Voldemort hear about the Tournament? How this, how that. It's such a messy adaptation. Don't even get me started on Angry Dumbledore. Then there's the lack of explanation on Priori Incantatem and the wand lock, leading to every single movie after this to include wand locks in their action sequences which MAKES NO SENSE.

    It's often implied in old interviews that this was like the least favorite film for the cast to work on. Mike Newell seemed to be angry and yelling and fighting all the time, and none of the cast ever brings him up when talking about the directors they'd worked with and what they learned from them.

    All of that being said, the graveyard sequence was *perfection*.

    1. You know that I love Prisoner of Azkaban so yes, this is probably the worst adapted book. SPEW was very important for Ron and Hermione's relationship and just Hermione's character in general (you get to see her idealistic side) and Sirius just isn't there enough. I really like him and Harry in Order of the Phoenix but it seemed like there wasn't enough time for the both of them together.
      And yeah, Priori Incantatem. WTF?


Let the discussion begin!