By Kaitlin McElroy
Twenty-years after the defeat of the Dark Lord, Voldemort rises again in this fan-made prequel film. “Voldemort: Origins of the Heir” was released to the public on Jan. 13. Directed and written by Gianmaria Pezzato of Italy, this film has a cast of Italian actors and is thus dubbed in English.
The beginning of the 53-minute short non-profit film states that it “is not endorsed by, affiliated with or associated with” the Harry Potter franchise. Warner Bros. even suspended the project when word leaked out, until Tryangle Films agreed for the film to be non-profit.
As for Harry Potter’s author, J.K. Rowling, there is no word yet on how she feels about the film and its representation of her character, Voldemort. As for Potterheads, a new film dedicated to the villain of the series is something desired.
Simply enough, the film is visual fanfiction. Centering around original character, Grisha, Voldemort is shown in his early years after Hogwarts. Grisha, a British auror looking for Tom Riddle’s diary, is caught by Russian aurors and interrogated. Through memories and the mystery as to why she wants the diary, the story of Voldemort’s beginning is revealed.
Tom Riddle, the heir to Slytherin, is shown to be friends with the descendants of Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor (Grisha). Every one of the heirs, except for Riddle, want to bring peace to the world after the dark wizard Grindelwald is gone. Tom Riddle, however, is just as power-hungry as he is in the Harry Potter series.
By the end of the interrogation, it is revealed that two of the descendants, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, have been killed by who Grisha believes to be former Tom Riddle. Within the last ten minutes of the film, a surprise twist is thrown at the audience, revealing just how evil young Voldemort had already become.
The film ends with a powerful theme of darkness being needed to see the light of the world. The Harry Potter series thrived on depicting light versus dark, making this ending somewhat of a nod to J.K. Rowling’s work.
From the beginning of the film, in which a magical fight scene takes place, visuals are not as epic as within Harry Potter. Also, with this film being dubbed to English, there is an inconsistency between mouth movements and words. However, considering this film was made by fans, for fans, Potterheads can overlook these technicalities and enjoy this retelling of the Dark Lord’s rise.