Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry-potter-6-subway-posterHARRY POTTER & THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE


Genre: Fantasy/ Action

Director: David Yates (also director for Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows)

Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay- also did every Harry Potter screenplay except for Order of the Phoenix), J.K.Rowling (novel)

Actors: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lastrange, Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid

Time: present day if there were such a thing as magic

Setting: Hogwarts & UK

Summary: As Harry and his friends begin their 6th year at Hogwarts, Harry comes to possess an old potions book property of a mysterious ‘Half-Blood Prince’ and also learns more of Lord Voldemort’s past.

Run time: 153 min.

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince-11To be honest, I’m still reeling from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  It is a deeply emotional, plot mover in the Harry Potter movie series.  This film is where we get to know more about the Dark Lord’s origins, see the start of his reign of terror again with his Deatheaters, and unfold the mystery of the Half Blood Prince.

This is an interesting book to translate to film format.  The darkness of the story is balanced here with love in the air at Hogwarts.  I’m actually glad for the filmmaker’s decision to focus on teenage love craziness since I thought that the book was fraught with too much of Harry being angsty.  It *is* that age for our young Hogwarts students!  The kids are growing up so fast!  (You’ll be happy to know that Jessie Cave who plays Lavender Brown, does a fantastic and amusing performance of being infatuated with Ron.)

harry-potter-6-tom-riddleNow that I write it, it sounds a bit odd to balance the theme of fear and darkness of the film with that of love and faith in others, but it works.  This sixth installment of the Harry Potter series touches again on theme of how Tom Riddle aka Lord Voldemort and Harry are similar, but fundamentally different as defined by their relationship with others and who they are at the core.

Our cast delivers top performances all around.  I must say that it’s wonderful to see the characters grow up from movie 1 to now.  You Snape fans will be excited that there is indeed more Snape in this film.


Zen’s comments:

A lot of the book’s side plots were again cut for time and pacing. Some of the side plots culled were: Fleur & Bill’s engagement, Tom Riddle’s full lineage, and the other pensieve trips.  I can see why some of this was cut, but other things that didn’t make the film made me wonder.

My biggest beef with what was cut was that this film didn’t give Snape the satisfaction of teaching “Defense against the Dark Arts” on film! He’s been waiting 5 films for this and it’s not even in the movie.  :sigh: Sorry, Snape. Your moment of glory was totally robbed!

harry_potter6-sly-posterA missed opportunity I thought this film could have delved into was that of the character of Draco Malfoy.  Draco should have stood out in this film in contrast to previous films because his character is serves a different purpose and his arc in the story is changing here, but I don’t think that the script allowed him enough latitude to make a valuable impact.  For me, I don’t think the plotline of the Malfoys from here on out was handled well in the books and here in this movie, I don’t think they conveyed Draco’s pain and stress well enough to set up for said plotline.

Now I sound like a total Slytherin groupie.  I’m just saying that Rowling should have dealt with the Malfoy plotline better is all!

They also did a great casting job on Slughorn, even though he is not ‘enormously fat’ man with a walrus mustache.  Jim Broadbent took on the spirit of the role and executed it well.

The special effects in the film are really something to behold.  Especially the scene with the water and the Inferi was very creepy and I did jump when they started to stir even though I knew what was going to happen!

The sad points of this film really will hit you hard.  I think I cried several times and you will remember why if you’ve read the book.  But they bring you back at the end of the movie- back to the theme of the power of love.  You’ll be stunned with sadness, but you’ll feel hope, camaraderie, and the determination of good to triumph over evil.

This installment of the Harry Potter films kept the franchise strong and healthy.  I would go and see this one again for sure!  Note to self: Bring more tissues next time!



Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer
Written by Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer

is Senior Managing Editor for SciFi, skips along between the lines of sci-fi, fantasy, and reality, and is living proof that geek girls really DO exist!