Voldemort: Origins of The Heir (2018) Movie Review

Saturday, January 13, 2018
Voldemort Origins of the Heir fanmade film review
When we read the Harry Potter books, our imaginations fill in on all the details. Even as adaptations are made and can only fit so much from the page onto the screen, what we envision is allowed to live in our minds every time we pick up the original thing. With a phenomenon as vast as the wizarding world, it’s exciting when fans can take what they picture and make their own stories. Like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, where its hardcore admirers create their own characters and adventures, director and writer Gianmaria Pezzato took a slice of author J.K. Rowling’s magical history for his own inspired interpretation and casts a fun spell for what fans can achieve if they dare to believe.

Adapting a slice of Tom Riddle’s dark past in creating the Horcruxes, Voldemort: Origins of the Heir takes us back to the early years of Hogwarts when the enigmatic student is on an inevitable path to darkness. He uses his access to Borgin and Burkes’s clients of rare objects to begin his creation of horcruxes, but there’s something he must do to make himself immortal: split his soul into seven pieces.

If you’ve read the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, plenty of this film’s plot uses Riddle’s background as its starting point, especially the murder of Hepzibah Smith. But there’s also room for the new, the director and writer’s point-of-view of what could’ve happened: heirs of the other houses trying to intervene with Riddle’s obsession with immortality. Grisha McLaggen, heir of Gryffindor, in particular trails down her friend’s famous diary, a pivotal item that comes into play in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But there’s something stopping her, a Russian wizarding army that captures her while trying to extract the diary.

As a fanmade film, one shouldn’t expect the story to adhere strictly to the canon Rowling created. A familiarity to the original material might make it difficult for the movie to live up to high expectations. For fans looking to rate the details, there are a few goofs here and there that the writing could’ve double-checked (Ravenclaw’s symbol is an eagle, not a raven for example) and saved itself some critical headaches. The story as is mixes old and new, adding a friend-turned-vendetta narrative into what we already know about Riddle’s early life.

The plot itself isn’t necessarily catchy in the beginning, giving the feeling that some material from the trailer might've ended up on the cutting room floor. Once the intrigue has some time to settle in, the one-sided plot gives some unexpected twists that are sure to excite. And, there's a few cool action sequences - who doesn't love a wand battle? For the most part, Pezzato's story offers a unique dive back into the the unexcavated parts of Riddle’s life that failed to make it to the big screen the first time around.

What we typically expect from a big studio movie like realistic effects, dramatic music, and detailed costumes, somehow makes it way toYouTube. The movie goes as far as to dub the Italian actors for English, and sought the approval of Warner Bros to release it on such a big platform. Pezzato goes above and beyond to appeal to fans with his unique ideas. His cast is definitely charismatic, fitting into a cinema sphere that Warner Bros could've used in their own franchise. What this clan of fans came up with is exceptional and impressive. Voldemort: Origins of the Heir is a fun side-adventure back into the wizarding world, it just takes a little detour from the version we know by heart.

Rating: ★★☆
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