Film Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The latest Harry Potter film The Goblet of Fire was released last week. This is the fourth film to be released. Whilst my favourite book is still The Prisoner of Azkaban, this film has instantly become my favourite.

There appears to be a logical progression in the films that each one appears to be targeted at an older audience, and this film is no exception. The film is rated as 12A which reflects this. Those under the age of 12 can still see the film is accompanied by an adult, but there is a reason for the rating so parents should think carefully about whether they are happy for their child to be watching this film.

*** Spoiler (but doesn’t spoil it too much) – anyone that has read the book will know this already. ***
Most viewers will have read the book, in which case this will be nothing new, but without giving too much away a school pupil dies during the film, which is an emotional event that may not be suitable for younger children. It doesn’t have the nice happy ending that the other films had.
** End of spoiler **

The story line will appeal a lot more to adult viewers as well as still catering for the target audience of teenage children.

This films adds more suspense, and is a lot darker than the others, but also has some good comedy moments. The balance of these works very well and the film swaps between light humour and dark suspense throughout the film.

Those that have read the book will notice quite a few changes between the book and the film. These are more of these than the earlier films, which is most likely due to the length of the book of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The book is much longer than the earlier 3 books, and therefore more had to be cut-out.

There were some changes that have perhaps been made because they were easier to recreate rather than to save space. Dobby and Winky didn’t appear at all. For example Dobby’s role being replaced by Neville when it comes to the Gilly Weed.

Some of the special effects were good, including the dragon, which was a bit more drawn out than in the book, no doubt wanting to get value for money with the special effects.

New characters included Bary Crouch, Victor Krum, Fleur Delacour and Mad-Eyed Moody. These were all well cast and fit well into the story, Mad-Eyed Moody in particularly carried his role well.

The film does feel a bit fragmented, particularly at the beginning. Readers of the book should have no problem in following the story, but those that are new to the story through the film may struggle. On example is at the Quidditch World Cup, where one moment people are taking their seats for the start of the game, and then all of a sudden the game has finished, and everyone is back at their tents. Thankfully as the film progresses there are less of these issues.

Although there has been much media criticism about how old the main characters are becoming it has not yet caused any problems. The characters looked about the right age, but were also given some opportunity to look older, when they dressed up for the ball. Some of the new characters looked much older than Harry’s year which helped to keep the sense of differing age groups. I think they are going to have problems in some of the later films, but so far it has worked well.

The story covers a school year at Hogwarts, but like the other 3 films this has a Christmas release, so concentrates on the Christmas period more than the rest. The main feature in this film is the Yule Ball which is held for the Tri-Wizard championship. Unlike the other films the film does not leave you with a big happy ending, instead setting the suspense for the future films.

This the latest film really improves on those that have gone before it. In my opinion the best so far.

Fans of the book will no doubt miss some of the bits that have been cut out, but I’m sure most will welcome the film. Those new to the film may find it a bit disjointed at first, but once the film gets going will find themselves immersed in the story. If you haven’t read the book you are missing out on so much, but the film more is well worth seeing – highly recommended.