Voldemort: Origins of the Heir Review
Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, is a 53 minute unofficial fan-made short film created by Tryangle Films and is available to watch for free on YouTube. This story is depicts Tom Riddle’s rise to power and starts when he was a student at Hogwarts. This short film contains quite a few original characters that were known to not exist in the canon Harry Potter story-line.
You can watch the short film here:
Before we delve deep into my thoughts, overall I give this film a 2/5 and do not recommend it to anyone that truly values the canon Harry Potter story-line.
Low budget is no excuse for a poorly written plot (only if you think that a crowdfunded €15,000 was “low budget”). The story itself is completely pointless. I thought this film would be fans striving to fill the gaps but it was filled with utter rubbish that made no sense. This film was dialogue-heavy and at all times it was completely forced and plain awful. Here is an example:
Tom and his friend Grisha are just having a casual chat about Quidditch and his dislike for it. Grisha mentions that it’s the muggle in him for why he doesn’t like Quidditch. All of a sudden Tom gets very angry and states that “I am not a muggle. I have none of their dirty blood. I am the best student Hogwart’s has ever seen and one day I will be the most powerful wizard in the history of time. I can assure you.”
Grisha replies by saying “I am just a second year student, Tom, and I hardly know anything about myself, but one there is one thing I do know. You’re exceptional. I have no doubt you will surely become the greatest wizard ever.”
I just felt as though this scene was just incredibly weird, forced and wasn’t true to Tom’s character. Tom was a very charismatic, handsome (at least they got that part right) young man when he was at school and to just come out with something like that just didn’t seem like an accurate portrayal of him as a student. Don’t forget the “second year student” (meaning a twelve year old) was portrayed by someone who was quite clearly in her mid 20’s. Did they just not bother trying to cast even semi-age appropriate actors?
Eventually we more forward in time to Grisha fighting, what we come to know, is a bunch of Aurors in a Soviet warehouse in her search for Tom’s diary (why on earth are they all wearing balaclavas?). She is eventually captured and ends up sitting at a table with a Soviet General Makarov. This bothers me as we all know that the Russians played no part in Tom Riddle’s uprising so I am unsure as to why they felt the need to completely alter the canon story-line.
She has been given a IV drip of Veritaserum.I suppose this was the filmmaker’s way of getting her to spill everything and “tell the story”.
The wizarding world is known to be very backwards when it comes to making progress, so seeing a very muggle invention used in a long-lasting scene just seemed a bit wrong. Now, one could argue that Russian wizards might be different compared to the British, but I very much doubt this is the case. Small populations of wizards worldwide means that social change takes a very long time.
Once the story has been told and the General hands over Tom’s diary to Grisha, it is revealed that it Grisha was Tom all along. Which makes this story seem even more pointless as to why Tom would even bother going through all of that talking to get back his book- which shouldn’t have even been in Soviet hands to begin with as it was never part of canon. Overall, the fan-fiction story line made no sense and was just incredibly boring.
The acting was very poor. All of the character’s came across as two dimensional and I had a lot of trouble trying to connect with or like any of them. There are plenty of short films out there with low budgets that prove that you don’t need a lot of money to have decent actors.
For the most part I did liked the cinematography and this in combination with the decent editing and lighting, made for a pleasant viewing experience. This is particularly seen in the sequence of shots at the start of the film when Tom is gathering is belongings.
Except of course the very frequent close up shots of the character’s eyes as they are reacting to various encounters occurred far too often. It definitely didn’t have that “Harry Potter” feel to it that we’ve all come to know and love.
A noticeable problem seen in the film is the issue of it being filmed in both english and italian languages, and then having all the scenes completely dubbed in english. This meant that certain scenes (like when Grisha is talking to the General) sounding very echoy. The audio is not balanced correctly between scenes and therefore reducing the quality of the film significantly.
A little more refining and effort on the sound editing of both the dubbing and the post-processing would’ve really helped this be a stronger film as this seems to be an issue most people mentioned when they viewed the film. Sticking to one language would’ve greatly helped too as seeing someone speak in Italian, but then being dubbed in English was quite annoying.
The spells were okay, but looked like something taken from an After Effects YouTube tutorial. There was far to much overuse of particles and fire embers lingering around long after the spell had been cast. These effects are quite prominent in short films on YouTube so the effects just looked like all the others on there.What I did like was the skull appearing in the clouds, I thought that was done very well.
Overall, I do commend the filmmakers for the time and effort they put into creating this. Even though I am a huge Harry Potter fan- and I really really wanted to like this- I just cannot bring myself to give this film rave reviews when there are so many problems with it.
Let me know in the comments what you thought of this fan film.