Mudcat Café message #1625206 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #87166   Message #1625206
Posted By: Grab
11-Dec-05 - 06:07 PM
Thread Name: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
Subject: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
Can't believe there isn't a thread for this yet!

Anyway, we just went to see it at the weekend. It's not bad, but not as well done as the last one. The director (Mike Newell) seems to be pretty good at the character bits, and the book has been very cleverly cut to make a decent film out of it. They've also kept the darker feel from the last film, which works well, and there are quite a lot of nice touches (the entrances of the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students being one). The whole maze thing is genuinely scary, and the Voldemort bit is pretty dark too. If your child is under 12 and on the sensitive side, I'd seriously question whether you should take them.

On the downside though, the direction is nothing short of crap on almost all the big action stuff. The dragon set-piece doesn't work at all, and nor does the Deatheater bit. What was worse for me though was that they've seen fit to screw up much of the talking, which is the one thing that Rowling does well. Dumbledore's final speech is just great in the book, but the film cuts it and makes it weak.

Michael Gambon is *very* bad as Dumbledore. He seems to be trying an Irish accent, but it wanders all over the place from American to Scottish to just hopeless. And he plays Dumbledore as a bit of a wimp, which really doesn't work. Apart from that, the acting isn't bad - certainly the kids are light-years ahead of Gambon (I don't think I've ever seen him so bad).

The worst though? They've screwed the future progression of the films and plot integrity big-style, and that's plain stupid. What's the most important element of book 5? Answer: that Dumbledore believes Harry that Voldemort is back, when no-one else does because of Cornelius Fudge. Why should that be important? Answer: because Barty Crouch Jnr is now a vegetable due to a Dementor, and no-one believes Dumbledore when he tells them in his speech. But the film shows no shock or surprise from the other students, Fudge's reaction is cut completely, and worst of all Crouch is left unscathed. Hello, plot hole alert? You've got truth drugs (Veritaserum) and someone to use them on...

Rowling isn't the greatest writer, but she is at least good at constructing a pretty watertight plot without obvious holes. If I was her, I know I'd be spitting bullets over that. So Newell has basically shafted whoever's taking over by cutting those elements (or forcing them to waste 10 minutes of the next film explaining something that was cut from this one). OK, it's no worse than the plot-holes in most blockbusters, but it's one thing to go in without a plan to make it a convincing plot, and quite another thing to start with a convincing plot and then either deliberately or incompetently bugger it up.


PS. In the gillyweed transformation when he starts growing skin between his fingers, am I the only person who couldn't help thinking "Normal for Norfolk"...? ;-)