After nearly the whole world has watched Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire, I set out to watch the movie on a Saturday morning. By the time, I walked out of the theater, it was freezing cold outside and I couldn’t believe that there were still cars running around. Not because it was freezing cold outside but I was in a state of trance for the last couple of hours that made me believe that when you aim a wand at something it can transform into a monkey or a donkey or even an IIPM Ad. Who knows. Harry Potter isn’t Rajini to get you transfixed during his on screen presence. Still, Harry Potter has a magical aura around him. And even if you never liked, with people around you cheering, ” Harry Harry Harry”, you can’t just hate him. And I was one such odd man out.
Harry Potter and I have a love-hate relationship. Before I go on to state what the love is, here’s a secret. I haven’t yet read any of Harry Potter books. One reason could be that before I set out to read book one, I saw the first movie. After then, year after year, it’s a custom to walk into a theater where Harry fights Voldermot and succeed every single time. Hence I am not a major Harry Potter freak to whom you could ask, ” Which spell makes the Dark Mark appear ?” and I would readily shout, Morsmordre. From the first time, I always have a feeling that I haven’t understood the entire thing about Hogwarts and Harry as compared to someone who has read the book(s). Generally, I would love to read a book and watch the movie but I am not used to read a book series like Potter and watch the respective movies on screen. Not just me but millions of people around the world aren’t used to this kind of book-then-movie-book-then-movie stuff. Thats probably one reason, why I believe Harry Potter is a major phenomenon and would be talked about until at least the next century. I ain’t awestruck at Harry Potter’s movie but I I truly believe in this.
Even as I purchased the ticket, I knew that Harry Potter wouldn’t die in the hands of Voldemort. As the print media is already selling Harry’s sixth book, one would know before hand Harry Potter is going to succeed even in fifth and the sixth movie. That certainly distances you from getting involved with the movie. This is where my interest never gets even as as Harry gets a wild card entry in the Tri-Wizard tournament. So I have to say if there are major changes to the climax of the next Potter movies, my energy levels would soar and would make people like me, get involved. I wish that happened much against the wish of Harry Potter fans.
In this serving of Harry Potter’s Adventure at Hogwarts, Harry’s hormones work overtime even as Harry is thrown into a deadly challenge for which he isn’t mentally ready. As he makes a lengthy stare at his school mate Cho Chang, you know Harry has grown-up. This is clearly innocence lost. From just being a children’s fantasy story, Harry Potter grows up into a teenager flick. I am not sure if this is what J K Rowling originally intended to be. There is a huge possibility that she just allowed the character to shape it by itself and hence from being just a chandamama story hero, Harry Potter gives a feeling of being a real human being. This is the biggest plus in creating a fantasy story. You could make just about anything in a fantasy story. Even in the next story, JK rowling could take Harry Potter back to his first year at Hogwarts.
I have to ramble here. Harry Potter isn’t James Bond or Spiderman or Superman or any of the super heroes. If this Harry Potter like growth had happened, year after year, James Bond should have turned into a 70 year old man now, going by Ian Fleming’s initial description of James Bond. Or Superman would be a retired old man, sitting in a recliner and reading NY Times. But it never happened. Superman is as young as he was, when first introduced. Watch out for the young Superman as he returns in the summer of 2006. My Paati created a fantasy hero for her grand children. So the same Darling Rajakumaran is still fighting the Mahendrapuri Raaja as he was during my childhood days. My nephew heard the same story a few years back. Just that the latest Darling Rajakumaran drives a Maruthi 800 while mine had only a karuppu horse. May be this growing up is what makes Harry Potter a saga. An epic that could stay for decades to come. None can answer now and its for time to answer how Harry Potter would be carried into the future. Probably 50 years from now, like Peter Jackson, some could give life to the forgotten Potter story and re-take it for the movie standards of that day. The reality is, Daniel Radclife would have enough beard like Dumbledore and would be resting in a recliner like the above said Superman.
Goblet of Fire is a so-so movie. There are some fantastic CGI scenes but the movie is more realistic than other Potter movies. The Quiditch World Cup had breath taking special effects. Made me wish if only there was a real stadium like that. Someone said the whole quiditch stuff ran into more than 50 pages in the book while it was reduced to 5 minutes on-screen. Quiditch was one thing that made me sit-up in the first potter movie and I felt let down as the whole chapter ended up so fast. Still, the movie by itself was filled with competitions. It had 3 races and some story in-between the three competitions. While the dragon episode was the grand one, the other two were pitiful counter-parts. Especially the maze competition for climax, reminded me of the final scenes of Kubrick’s Shining.
The screenplay has a many yawning places which made me slide down the chair and yearned to go to sleep. Of course there are also sensational scenes in the story. Though reading the whole Yule Ball episode might be sleep inviting, on-screen it was short and sweet. Harry asks for a girl to dance with him during the ball. Since she is already going with someone else, he finally settles down for an Indian girl. And why would they want to symbolically represent Indians as brown skinned by choosing darker girls while there are thousands of fairer Patels and Shahs in England. Spontaneously, Harry hugs Granger while he is about to start for the second round of competition. Thats probably a highlight of this Harry Potter episode. I’m waiting to see if Granger would marry(?!!) Potter or Weasley, as Wesley also sights Granger as much as Harry. The ending was sober with the death of a friend but there is an entire sequence before that seems like the mummy awakening, which is exciting.
There is absolutely no reason to write a review for this movie. Its become like a sort of social thingy for Harry Potter movie to release and the world waits for their turn of tickets in long queues of theaters to watch him do magic. They still cheer, “Harry Harry and Harry !!”. More reasons to love this movie than hate it.