Thursday, January 19, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

2005, Mike Newell -- download

Here we are at epis... er. movie number four already.  By now we are finished with hinting at something going on in Harry's life, a conspiracy or destiny involving He Who Cannot Be Named, but constantly does get named.  It's outright, since the attacks of the death eaters have become overt and deadly. I never understood why the attack on the Quidditch World Cup didn't lead to definitive agreement that Big V was back, or at least people were working to get him back, and cause a reaction against any hint of Dark Arts. Alas I guess they have their dark fingers in the politics already and have to hush up the actions of their ... more obvious brothers.

This movie also ended the attempts to have any style & art to the movies (well, at least until the last two), settling into the familiar look present through the rest of the movies.  But it does do a bit of world building, when they introduce the Triwizard Tournament.  So there are other grand schools in other countries, hmmm?  I would love to see the American school with it's addiction to pop culture and marketing.  We get a weird concept in that the wizards are expected to take part in dangerous and potentially deadly competitions just to be named champion and the school will get a ... trophy?  The only way it settles in my mind is that we are seeing this from the kids' point of view, in that the is deadly serious and they have to be careful. But the teachers and parents are aware that all challenges are monitored and the kids are never really in danger, especially considering some of the kids are used as bait.  Or, if taken at face value, it is done to remind even children that the world of wizardry is fucking scary and you should be prepared to die, anytime.  Nice.

As a result we get our first death in this movie, a death seen as so tragic that it lends to my thoughts about the challenges being monitored.  Even in the wake of the controlled danger that are the challenges, Cedric's death is a wakeup of exactly how deadly Harry's destiny is.  I suspect V spent a lot of his energies simultaneously enhancing his infamous reputation while doing the Devil Convinces World He Doesn't Exist thing. But this death is a brilliant setup for the remaining movies, showing us that grim things are coming and that Harry is not going to be allowed to be a kid for very long.