Film Review: Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

This is probably the first Harry Potter movie I’ve actually been eagerly waiting for and when My Girlfriend was so excited to see it I was even more stoked. This was the last of the 4 movies I watched in China and as they say leave the best to last, they are right with this one.

Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince is the best of the 6 movies so far, though I haven’t seen the Order of the Phoenix but the movie picks up from where that movie left off and now Harry, Hermione and Ron are back at Hogwarts for their sixth year. All three hormones are at the boiling point with all the attention and kissing from the opposite sex making forget at times the serious threat from the death eaters whizzing around the school and at the other side you have a sulking Malfoy.

I actually missed the start of this movie which was annoying (my own fault) and I actually see the movie from the moment Professor Dumbledore with Harry is at  Horace Slughorn’s  ( Jim Broadbent) house after the death eater rampage at the start of the movie (wish I saw it!). Slughorn now the new potions expert at Hogwarts and in his head he holds key to a few dark secrets about Voldemort and Dumbledore gives harry the take of unlocking the secrets.

Outside the 3 lead characters, Broadbent’s Slughorn is the character that stands out as the best: he’s  at times, clumsy, lovable character and of course brings even better humour to the movie (like the  sad speech about his pet goldfish), he just simply steals every scene he’s in. I’m sure come Feb 2010 Jim Broadbent will earn an oscar nominee. Helena Bonham carter was just a waste of time and Alan Rickman’s Snape is a fantastically dark mysterious character which seems to get underused a lot.

You get the scooby doo type mysteries you got in the earlier films but more mature stories (even learning the odd keynotes to the whole Harry Potter story). The whole film is a lot darker(though some may argue The Prisoner of Azbakan is darker) and at gothic wonderfully visual(at times reminded me of Lord of the rings), it is a lot slower and not as action packed as previous movies. Radcliffe, Watson and Grint’s acting ability has matured admirably. One of my only grudges was a lack of story on Half-Blood Prince character is, I understand you can’t give much away but just a little more would have done the job better.

I watched this film in China but when I left the cinema in Glasgow recently after watching Public Enemies, I also left when a Harry Potter movie just finished as well and I listened to the people’s reactions with curiosity. It was a mixture of excellent and some were leaving disappointed about the ending saying how poor the ending was, I ask have they read the books? are they diehard fans or just simply following the hype of the movie? The ending reminded me a lot of the way the Fellowship of the ring ended with fellowship breaking up creating and building up the next film and Half-Blood Prince does that for part one of Deathly Hallows.

Do you need to have read the books to understand film 6? maybe. I think Watching the films first then reading the book after is sometimes the best way as you will get too frustrated when the movies don’t perfect the story and you become highly critical even if the movie is an excellent adaptation. We are now in the second half of the summer and as big blockbusters of the summer go, this is the best of the bunch so far…

★★★★| Paul Devine

Fantasy, Adventure | UK, 2009 | 12A | 15th July 2009 (UK) | Warner Bros | Dir.David Yates | Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes

Originally posted at The Peoples Movies | 4th August

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