Let me get this out in the open before I begin: I have never read a Harry Potter book. Therefore, the sum of my Harry Potter knowledge is completely and utterly derived from the films I’ve watched and from what my wife, who is an avid fan, tells me.
I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies, and while I didn’t particularly care for the first two, I quite enjoyed the third installment. I imagine this is because the tones were a bit darker and more mature, plus, who doesn’t love a werewolf?
So, while I wasn’t overly anxious to see this fourth segment, I was mildly looking forward to it, which I think makes me as objective as anyone can be when it comes to Harry Potter.
I was not disappointed with the film, nor did I feel I had wasted my money, but I was not overtly electrified either. The film very rushed and jumbled, and while I never considered myself lost, I knew that there were rather integral portions of the story that were omitted for time’s sake. My wife later went into great detail about those left out sections, confirming my suspicions.
The film was entertaining, but it seemed to lack a depth to the characters that was prevalent in the third film, you remember, the one with the werewolf. There were incredible special effects, and the acting, what little was required, was sublime with highly esteemed adults and adequate teens.
My fear is this: Harry Potter is going the route of a special effects carnival rather than focusing on what so many fans fell in love with immediately, which was, of course, the clear characterization and thorough narration. I think the Goblet of Fire has begun that downward spiral. However, it’s not too late. Perhaps they can go back to what people love most about Harry Potter, and that his character.
On a side note, I’m very irritated with Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but did she not sign a seven picture deal for all her books to be adapted to film, and didn’t she do this somewhere around the release of the third book? Regardless of when the deal was made, it certainly happened before her last few books had come out, and they have been gargantuan in size. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to shy away from a big book, but if you know your books are going to be made into films BEFORE you write them, wouldn’t you feel some responsibility to the fans to make them short enough that they could be adapted to film without 75% of the book’s content being omitted? I feel that if she signed the deal before the books were even written, she should make them manageable enough to be converted to film without the fans that do read the books being disappointed by the many cuts and the fans that don’t read the books having to fill in the gaps on their own.