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Most chilling of them all



GORGEOUS GRAPHICS: HarryPotter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire may not make concessions for people not in the know — six books and three movies later you'd expect everyone watching this film to be able to differentiate a snitch from a bludger.

However, for the sake of science, this reviewer took along one of the increasingly rare Potter Illiterates (let's call him `M') who 10 minutes into the film was asking ``Er... What's Quidditch?" But fret not, all you other PIs, for director Mike Newell had other things to worry about (such as condensing a 734-page book into two-and-a-half hours onscreen) to dwell too long on Quidditch, the most popular game of the wizard world.

Though this story begins with the Quidditch World Cup, it is shown merely as an introduction to portkeys (a mode of transportation) and the formidable Bulgarian on a broom Viktor Krum, who forms an integral part of the tale later on.

The Potty-about-Potter lot, be forewarned — there will be episode jumps, entire characters are booted out of the plot but Newell really knows what he's doing. HP4 is the slowest book as there is too much time between the tournament tasks but the movie moves at a brisk pace.

Teen hormones

It has gorgeous graphics, dare devilry by our 14-year-old hero, a bizarre new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, teen hormones and dance lessons. (Ironically, even as Harry, Ron and Hermione are entering the world of teenage problems, a spot removing technique was reportedly used during post-production ``to erase the more severe teenage skin problems").

Goblet of Fire is also the most chilling episode in the series. Lord Voldermort finally takes form, as a reptilian, pasty, no-nose nightmare who rises ominously in a flurry of black from amidst a cemetery. And he reveals himself as a brilliantly made up Ralph Fiennes (pronounced to rhyme with Safe Vines).

There is blood, mutilation and even death so parents should exercise caution while taking younger children.

Back to experiment M, he came out beaming, and said, ``Man, that's one helluva movie."

SUSAN MUTHALALY

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