Director: Giamaria Pezzato
Producer: Stefano Prestia
Starring: Stefano Rossi (Tom Marvolo Riddle), Maddalena Orcali (Grisha McLaggen), Alessio Dalla Costa (General Makarov), Andrea Bonfanti (Lazrus Smith), Gelsomina Bassett (Hepzibath Smith)
Released: 13 January 2018
Production Company: Tryangle Films
Length: 53 Minutes
What made Tom Riddle become Voldemort? What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken. This is the story we want to tell: the rise of the Dark Lord before Harry Potter and his first demise.
Voldmort: Origins of the Heir is an unofficial fan-made film that is available to watch for free on YouTube.
Ever since the trailer for this fan-made film was released, I've been really excited to watch it. I've always wanted J.K. Rowling to write more about Tom Riddle's origins, because even though we see a lot in Half Blood Prince, there's still so much more to his story. And by extension, I've always wanted to see a film adaptation of Voldemort's origins. Although this is fan-made, it's still a great look at the origins of our series' villain.
After the murder of Hepzibath Smith, Grisha McLaggen travels to the Soviet Ministry in search of his diary. There, under the control of Veritaserum, she recounts to General Makarov her connection to Tom Riddle - one of the four heirs to the original Hogwarts Founders - and his quest to find the four heirlooms connected to the founders, in order to create Horcruxes. Although Tom has now transformed into Lord Voldemort, Grisha is determined to try and save Tom before his loses every piece of his former life.
You can really see how much work went into creating this film - it may be fan-made but you can see how the creators have tried to keep it true to the style of the original films. Of course, this film didn't have the massive budget that Harry Potter had, but working with what they did have, the film does a really great job at recreating that Harry Potter magic during Tom's time.
The film was such an interesting take on Voldemort's origins, especially since it's told through a series of flashbacks rather than a linear plot. Focusing on the events between Tom's final year at Hogwarts and the murder of Hepzibath Smith, we get to see and hear about a history we already know, plus the inclusion of details that aren't included in canon, but could very well be.
It was really interesting to see the inclusion of three other Hogwarts heirs. J.K. Rowling never went into great detail about heirs to other houses, so to see that they were all together, knowing they were special and determined to protect the Founder's legacies was certainly a great inclusion to Tom's story. Even though it's not part of the story that J.K. Rowling told, it did make the overall plot intriguing.
The plot twist near the end was certainly unexpected and made the film so much better. It eluded to the fact that we know this was only just the beginning of Voldemort's story, and could possibly open Tryangle Films to produce a sequel. I do wish the film had been more than an hour long, simply because it felt that there was more to the story - more that we of course know from canon. But, again, it's a fan-made film and the story they told was more than satisfactory.
I have to say, the way the film was dubbed in many scenes was a bit distracting, and at times the colour grading felt too Instagram-y, rather than dark and girtty. However, the special effects were actually pretty good and better than I was expecting from such a film. There were also a few scenes that I felt needed more explanation as to what was going on and who the people were - scenes being those that weren't part of canon history. And, of course, key moments like Tom murdering the entire Riddle family, were missing or not mentioned, making it seem as though they weren't important moments in Tom's progression into Lord Voldemort.
Overall, this film was an enjoyable take on Voldemort's origins and a must-watch for Harry Potter fans. It may be fan-made, but the essence of Harry Potter is there and a good edition to the series. Until the day comes that Warner Bros. decides to continuing franchising the Harry Potter name and creates a Voldemort film, this is a pretty good substitute.
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