Film Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
8.0 of 10
Director: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books. Not because I don't like it. I just prefer my fantasy to be rife with political and mature tones rather than with magical and wondrous elements. I did enjoy the films, however. Although it wasn't until the 5th installment that I actually took some interest in the franchise's lore. The Order of the Phoenix was just brillant. Its plot -where paranoia turns the Ministry of Magic into a totalitarian authority- was an eye opener for me. All of a sudden, I realized that Harry Potter isn't just a kid's book anymore. All of a sudden, I couldn't get enough of Harry Potter. That's why, after I left from work last night, I hurried to catch the last show of The Half-Blood Prince.

However, I found the 6th film to be a bit of a lackluster. It just didn't have a strong plot if compared to other Harry Potter films. Instead, it presented a series of dull sub stories, back stories and plot build ups. Nonetheless, as boring as it was, this installment is still a vital part of the film franchise. If there's anything The Half-Blood Prince was set to accomplish then it was probably to construct a stage for the grand finale (which will be a two-part film due in 11/2010 and 07/2011).

The visuals in the movie, however, were just tantalizing. It pretty much did its job too well in letting people know that this isn't a happy kid/teen movie anymore. The atmosphere is gloomy and ominous from the very moment the film rolled in with Harry sitting alone in an austere cafe. Even Hogwart's, a bastion for light and wonder, its walls have turned from golden brown to gray. But the ending shots were probably the saddest of all. It was just so dark that even with the Phoenix flying -a symbol of hope and rebirth- there's no foreseeable hope the future for our heroes.

But the film isn't entirely covered with the dark and dejected stuff. Audiences will have a little bit of respite as romance develop between characters, Ron/Hermoine and Harry/Ginny, amidst the depressing elements. There are bits and pieces of comedic scenes as well, mostly during conversations between Harry and Ron in regards to girls. Then there's Luna Lovegood, probably the only character who retained her colorfulness and funkiness, who happens to slip in and out during scenes. She never failed to surprise me on her entrances, from the funky sunglasses, the lion hat, and the 80's Madonna prom dress. I wish they gave her more face time.

All in all, I was a bit disappointed with the film. Mostly because I was expecting a bit too much of it due to what happened in the previous installment. It was very anti-climatic to sit through a 150 minute long movie watching nothing but a series of back stories and plot build-ups. If not for the awesome shots, visuals and the teeny romance in this film I would've fallen asleep. But this part shouldn't be missed, especially by those who haven't read the book, since it's a vital part of the franchise.

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gillboard said...

in the book, Luna's lion hat was supposed to roar... i was disappointed that didn't happen in the film...

lucas said...

Half-Blood Prince was written in preparation for the final battle in Book 7. It is the saddest and gloomiest part of the series... But it was still my favorite book... Hope to see the movie tomorrow!

The Scud said...

the book is really all about talk and preparation for the deathly hallows finale. i imagined more fight scenes on the climax but there was none. the movie was good. not great.

here's hoping the final two movies will be great. better than the 6 previous films combined. wishful thinking ba?

Big Hamster said...

Lots of things didn't happen in the movie based on the book but that's to be expected (griping is always a sinful pleasure). All in all, HP: THBP comes out as a super prelude to Deathly Hollows, which hopefully will come out more action packed and spine tingling.

Oh, I see you're part of Sneeze Mag, am I right? Well, if you guys need help (writing, editing etc.) let me know, hehehe.