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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Whats shakin in the wizarding world?

Published: December 2, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

As a Harry Potter fan myself, Im familiar with the crazy psyched feeling that comes with the arrival of the newest book or, in this case, movie. But with the movies, its a slightly different kind of anticipation. If youre like me, youre anxious to get into that theater to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and show all of your friends (or that random old dude sitting next to you) how much you know about Harry Potter by pointing out every single unimportant detail that was left out of the film. Every five minutes you want to tap (or actually do tap) your friend and say, Hey, in the book, that line was said by Harry, not Ron! And that person sitting next to you is most likely mapping out the quickest escape route, possibly one involving duct tape, seven thumbtacks, paint thinner, and a rubber chicken.

Let me give you the short list of the key missing parts, in order, to get it out the way (if you havent read the book or seen the movie yet, dont read this): Ludo Bagman, Winky, SPEW, Hagrid being a giant, and the entire explanation of the Crouch family fiasco. As for new characters, Cho and Cedric are pretty dead-on, Moody, Fleur, and Crouch are passable, but Krum is a disaster. The director apparently decided to replace the surly, brooding Victor with a burly brainless jock. Hes a Seeker, for christs sake, hes supposed to be scrawny and awkward like Harry. The pseudo-baby Voldemort was a perfect blend of horrifying and disturbing. I found the reincarnated Voldemort to be disappointing, not quite skeletal enough. I expected him to look more like the grim reaper, but with an actual head. He still looked like a man with a flat nose. There were other, more minor things omitted, but these were the ones that bothered me most.

All that being said, the film is pretty well executed. I was fascinated by the arrival of the Durmstrang ship, water dripping off as it slid out of the lake. Harrys battle with the Hungarian Horntail is a bit drawn out, but still dramatic and gaspworthy. The scene in the lake was is well done, with the realistic greenish sickly tint, but with the added quirk of Harrys fish features. But the aspect of the movie that struck me most was the hilarity. Usually they have some funny one-liners thrown in, but this movie exceeded my expectations for humor. Anytime Fred and George are on the screen, something funny happens, and they get a lot more screen time in this movie, which is pretty damn spectacular. I was even able to figure out which twin was which. Fred is way better looking than George. There is also a rather comic scene where Harry and Ron discuss date prospects for the Yule Ball, and Snape keeps hitting them over their heads. You can never fail with some basic physical comedy.

But by far the most hysterically awesome scene is where Harry was in the prefects bathroom and is visited by Moaning Myrtle. First of all, for all of you drooling, horny cradle robbers out there, there is a half-naked Harry. We now know why this movie got a PG-13 rating, eh? As soon as the whiny ghost comes in, Harry strategically places an island of bubbles in front of him. As the scene goes on and Myrtle becomes more obnoxiously flirtatious, the blob of bubbles gets broken up and moved around. I died laughing each time I saw it, which was three times, by the way, so the funny factor didnt even wear off.

Despite the lack of certain central plotlines, the movie is still pretty loyal to the book. The major points got across, even if they dont happen exactly as they did in the book. The one little thing that ate away at my brain as I watched was the relationship between Harry and Hermione. It seemed like the director was trying to create some sort of non-platonic love between the two. There were several moments of unprecedented sexual tension. And one final thought to leave you with: what was the deal with that last semi-giddy scene with the three friends? Why werent they solemn and subdued like they should be? And why was there that lingering eye contact between Harry and Hermione?

If you like Harry Potter, then read the most recent novel in the series:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005).