Monday, November 21, 2005

Ralph Fiennes continues to exceed expectations. His Voldemort is both terrifying and charming; one can still see traces of the handsome Tom Riddle he once was, even in his snakelike face. He was naked but for a ghostly cloak that flitted about him like shadow, insubstantial and cold. I thought this was a neat way to point to his powers, to the depths he is willing to plunge in his quest for immortality.
In the climatic battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic in the fifth book, Voldemort says there is "nothing worse than death." And Dumbledore counters, "Yes, there is, Tom." Hence the reason Dumbledore enters into the fray, exposing himself, so much so that Harry fears for him as he walks calmly around the fountain, looking rather frail. Those who want to live must be willing to die. So it has been written before, and so it will continue to be. Many of the great stories have this as their theme: Dickens's Tale of Two Cities; Tolkien's Lord of the Rings; LeGuin's The Farthest Shore ...

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