Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Director: David Yates
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint)
Hermione Granger (Emma Watson)
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)
Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent)
Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)
Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton)
Heavy British Accent (Everybody)

Exams finished on the 21st of July, and I rushed (yes, literally. I ran from school) to Fun Cinemas, Pitampura to catch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The movie starts off with the Dementors/Death Eaters wrecking havoc around the streets of England. That perfectly rendered scene, especially the one in which that bridge collapses, is superb to watch. Inevitably, it sets the tone for the entire movie. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince doesn’t deviate much from the book, but it does a little, which may disappoint you to an extent.

The film actually starts off when Dumbledore takes Harry away to persuade former Potions professor Horace Slughorn to return to Hogwarts. Then follows the scene in which Snape makes the unbreakable vow with Narcissa Malfoy, to take care of her son, and assist him the job the Dark Lord has asked him to perform.

Now this is the film in which Harry and his friends actually grow up. They start noticing girls/guys, and begin to kiss them in public in broad daylight as well. Even in corridors. I really wouldn’t like to use the cliched “raging hormones” which you’ve probably heard of in every movie review.

Harry begins to develop an affection for Ginny, and Ron for Lavender, of which Hermione is particularly jealous of. Now the film has been directed in an excellent manner by David Yates, using all the characters to throw in just the right amount of comedy and sincerity in the characters they play in the same time. All actors perform their roles fabulously, especially Rupert Grint as Ron, who is exceptional. He really steals the show more than Daniel or Emma does, although they do seem to share the limelight for most of the time. Watch that scene in which Ron accidentally consumes Love Potion, and that one too, when he goes out for Beater tryouts. Daniel isn’t bad either. I particularly liked that scene in which Hermione accuses him of mixing a potion in Ron’s juice, so that he feels more confident, and Harry admits he didn’t. Alan Rickman and Jim Broadbent  as Snape and Slughorn are nice as well. Michael Gambon does perfect justice to Dumbledore’s character, which is, in my opinion, one of the most important one in the film.

All the special effects are done pretty well. Especially the Apparation scenes, the Inferi, the Dark Mark and the scene in which Harry travels with Dumbledore to the dark cave. These are the main forte of the film, and make up for some of the bad parts, which I will discuss later.

Draco Malfoy is involved with a Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement, which he eventually uses to get all the Death Eaters to Hogwarts, and eventually kill Dumbledore. Now, the ever-inquisitive Harry must find out what his enemy is up to, and this often leads to eye-to-eye face-offs with each other. The enemity is a treat to watch, and their acting is so convincing, that you can actually sense the loathing they have for each other. Watch that spectacular scene in which Harry and Draco are involved in a raging conflict in the bathroom.

Now to the plot. David Yates’s direction is pretty convincing, but you simply cannot ignore the film’s plot problems. There are many things not mentioned from the book, the most important ones being Marvolo Gaunt’s memory and the entire Quidditch Cup season, which all the movies just seem to ignore almost completely. Also, some scenes, such as the awesome Bellatrix-Harry chase scene in a wheat field is completely pointless, as both Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback (the werewolf) do not succeed in killing Harry, and do not achieve much in burning down Ron’s house, which struck me as pointless. Also, the entire Dumbledore burial scene is skipped! That was the most emotional part of the book, and brought me to tears, which very few books do.

The film has an extremely long running time of two-and-a-half-hours, and becomes really, really boring in a few handpicked scenes. The first half is fantastic, and you will never know when the time flies (unless you have an empty stomach). But even when you’re munching on butter popcorn and sipping Coke, the second half seems to drag on. Yates tries to finish of the film in a hurry, when the detials are actually required.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Trailer. Do watch it in full screen HD.

Detailed Raitings (Out of 10)

Plot: 7

Acting: 10

Visual+Sound Effects: 5+4=9

Direction: 10

Screenplay: 10

Rating: 9.2/10 (Brilliant!)

Tweetable Shadow Line Bottom Line: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is easily the best film in the entire series. It is a must watch.


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  1. Camile · July 21, 2009

    I agree with your assertions of the the first vs second half. The crazy part is that the second half should have been more exciting had they followed the plot of the book.

    Such a disappointment.

    • eleganterica · July 21, 2009

      Agreed. I was told that they added the burning of the Weasley house because the director felt that they needed an “action scene” at that point in the movie. If they had simply followed the plot of the book then I wouldn’t be left wondering if I should bother watching the next two movies.

      • Aditya · July 21, 2009

        I think now, that the burning scene was to show how vulnerable Harry was at that current location. I vaguely recollect someone saying “Harry, how dangerous it was being there!”

    • Aditya · July 21, 2009

      Exactly. The second part should have been more exciting. I still feel they shouldn’t have skipped that funeral scene. It really made me cry while reading it, irrespective of the number of times I read it. BTW, I’ve read each book 7 times.

  2. Ankur Goel · August 12, 2009

    Nice Review!
    With a butterbeer, firewhisky and a gulp of Champagne, the movie will look more beautiful.
    PS: I liked direction of David Yates.

  3. Ankur · August 14, 2009

    @Aditya Got recipe of ButterBeer. [Following you on twitter]. Great
    PS: yet.. I’ve still not read recipe.

  4. Rish · September 4, 2009

    Honestly, i thought this was the worst movie in the series, coming to a close second after Chamber of Secrets. The best one yet was Order of Phoenix

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