Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4 out of 5 snowstones

One of the best things about Mike Newell's classic romantic comedy, "Four Weddings and a Funeral", was his seemingly effortless transition from comedy to tragedy and back again. He managed to make this combination work by presenting engaging and believable characters.
In "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", episode 4 in the boy wizard series, and definitely the best one so far, Newell does the same thing. I found myself laughing without impatience while Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates struggled with their raging hormones and the prospect of a school dance. Within half an hour after the gala, Harry is tortured by an evil villain with little slits for nostrils. The fact that the two scenes go hand in hand is no mean feat.
"Goblet" is the most expensive movie ever made (this week, anyway), but Newell didn't let the whopping three hundred and eight million dollars go to his head. He spent the money wisely on dazzling action sequences involving dragons and sea monsters. And he invested precious time in whittling the heavy tome by JK Rowling down to a mere 157 minutes. Unlike earlier Potter directors, he cut out entire subplots and even characters, but in the end, the movie is so much the better for it: more evenly paced, engaging and full of darkness. I saw it in an IMAX version; you should at least see it in a regular cinema (the one that you have to put your coat on for, not your 'home cinema').

Posted by cronopio at 01:44 PM, November 24, 2005