Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After students and faculty attend the Quidditch World Cup (at an amazing special f/x stadium at some other location), the Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students from two other wizardry schools arrive at Hogwarts to compete, though only three names will be chosen from the Goblet of Fire. 


Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Gint) are not old enough to put their names in for the draw (they must be 17). However, when Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) chooses the names, a fourth one rises from the flames in the Goblet: Harry Potter's. Therefore, he must be included in the competition.


The three friends seem to be growing apart as adolescent issues arise; they must learn how to dance for the Yule Ball, who will ask whom to the ball, and then there's Ron's jealousy over Harry being in the competition.


As all this is going on, it seems that the Dark Lord Voldemort is on the prowl and Harry is not safe.


The plot for this fourth Harry Potter film (based on the book) is intricate, and I think it is the best film so far. Of course, the kids are older so the plot develops apace. It's a transitional time for the young friends, especially Harry who decides to choose altruism over winning. There's humor - and virtue (even gifts of the Spirit) in the story that can make for great conversation.


The Quidditch World Cup event is amazingly rendered, as are the three parts of the wizards' competition. The denouement is a moment that demonstrates the transcendent nature of love, which has always been and remains the foundation of Harry Potter's story.


For those who are concerned if Harry Potter is about the occult, here's what I wrote last year for St. Anthony Messenger

"Educator Dr. Susan Reibel Moore offers a helpful distinction for parents who are concerned about the possible negative influence of the Harry Potter books or, for that matter, those of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Fantasy literature (and by extension, film) is imaginative and creative, and the worldview is benevolent.

"In the occult world, there is no comfort; there are no caring adults. The occult wants to recreate the world in a godlike way in order to control it. Fantasy wants to transform the world into a place where goodness wins the struggle.

"Is it wise for children to read Harry Potter and see the films? Parents know their children best; they know whether or not they can distinguish between fantasy and reality."



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