Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves, based on J.K. Rowling's novel
Cast Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Jim Broadbent, Bonnie Wright, Helena Bonham Carter


Reviewed by Paivi

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installation of the Potter -series is a story of Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) sixth Hogwarts wizard school year. The evil lord Voldemort has gained more and more strength and his impact has reached even the muggle world - bridges are collapsing and people are dying because of the work done by his Death Eaters. This affects also the wizarding school and the school is covered by extra protective spells to prevent the evil from coming inside the school grounds. However, even the best is not always enough, the evil has its ways, and this leads to events that make Harry once again lose someone important to him.

Voldemort and his Death Eaters are not the only pain the students in Hogwarts face. They are growing up and it is no less than sex that causes them trouble and heartache.

Hogwarts school gets a new Potions teacher, professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) and former Potions master, professor Snape (Alan Rickman) gets to teach the Defence against the Dark Arts (it's a pity all of the actual classes have been cut of the movie). Slughorn is not asked to Hogwarts by professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) without a reason, but he holds a secret Harry must find out, as this secret may help in destroying lord Voldemort.

Finally - professor Dumbledore takes Harry along with him in the action. The headmaster gives Harry a lot of new information on Voldemort and together they continue discovering the Evil Lords secrets in their attempt of destroying him once and for all.

Half-Blood Prince continues the Potter-saga in a very similar fashion as the couple of previous movies have done - it leaves most of the book's complex plotlines out. This is good in a way that it is impossible to squeeze everything from those enormous novels into a bit over 2-hour-movie. But even though something has been gained, something is also lost in this process, and Half-Blood Prince feels a bit hollow, as if it was made without a heart totally involved. The biggest flaw is probably the fact that even though the name of the movie is Half-Blood Prince, the mystery around the Prince is totally left out and the discovery of the Prince in the final scene seems almost corny.

The pains and sorrows of growing up are very prominent in the movie, so much it made me ask were they really that important? That so many scenes were included in the movie in the expense of the actual Harry-Voldemort -story? I would have preferred a deeper digging into the storyline that really matters, and leave the love life of the young ones less visible - after all it is not that much visible in the original story either.

The main trio of the saga have really grown up, but they still fit into their roles as before. Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) has grown up to be a total stunner and Rupert Grint's (Ron Weasley) talent as a comedian has strengthened on. Radcliffe has always had a bit stiff style of acting, and he continues the same way. Tom Felton (Harry's arch enemy Draco Malfoy) however looks perfectly like his father's son in his suit. Rickman as Snape and Gambon as Dumbledore are brilliant as always. It is wonderful to see these classic actors work so well in a movie targeted to young audiences.

Half-Blood Prince offers the fans of the saga a nice and working piece of magic and action, but don't expect to see a masterpiece.


Annie said...

I just don't like the whole Harry Potter phenomenon. Haven't read the books, haven't seen one film. If Harry would have a bit more charisma and looks then maybe I would try it. I'm a fantasy fan but I'm very selective and Potter is just too mainstream (just like I would never read any David Eddings...)

Robin Hobb is something else!

Paivi said...

I understand your point Annie, because I thought the same way before I picked up my first Potter -book ;-) I had seen the first movie in a plane and did not like it, and hated the way everyone - even the adults - were excited about this phenomenon. Then I read my first Potter which was the Prisoner of Azkaban - and was immediately hooked.

I love the way Rowling writes her stories and that made me a fan - of both the books and the movies. My guilty pleasures ;-)

Hitesh said...
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Movie Blaster said...

The most recent Harry Potter movies aren't that good anymore especially since most of the young characters got older now.... There was a certain cuteness to Harry Potter before that appealed more to kids... I doubt if its still there.