Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

harry-potter-daniel-radcliffe-half-blood-prince[This review contains spoilers]

The sixth Harry Potter book is by far the best of the series. And now, the sixth Harry Potter movie is my favorite and best of the franchise so far. Quite simply, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one of the best movies of the past seven months. Let me try to tell you why I think so.

WARNING: If you have not followed the franchise, I highly recommend you watch the previous five movies before you enjoy this one. If you plan on watching Half-Blood Prince without having a shred of Potter knowledge in you, you will not only have absolutely no idea what is going on, but you will also have spoiled the wonderful experience that is the Harry Potter experience. Just to give you some perspective, an item from book/movie 2, Chamber of Secrets, is talked about in book/movie 6 Half-Blood Prince. What I’m saying is that Half-Blood Prince cannot be enjoyed if you have not seen the previous movies.

Lord Voldemort is back and is building his army. Back at school, in his 6th year, Harry is instructed by Professor Dumbledore to obtain precious information from the new Professor Horace Slughorn. Information that will prove crucial in the attempt to defeat the Dark Lord.

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As usual, the music of the movie hits you right from the get-go. As we’ve gone from the first movie, to the sixth one, the music has gotten much darker and more haunting but at times very dreamy and warm. It’s good that by just the music alone, the aspect of the joy of being at Hogwarts, this fantastic and magical place, is preserved in spite of the plot taking a very dark turn.

This movie, like many others, is not perfect. But what flaws it has is incredibly smothered by the sheer brilliance of the storyline. I guess that’s why J.K. Rowling is the richest lady in Britain. Maybe it’s because its been a while since I read Half-Blood Prince, but I was so compelled by the storytelling ability of the movie, I could not stop wanting to know what was going to happen next. Most of the previous movies, especially the first two, had extremely chopped up, directionless and episodic ways of interpreting the story. Half-Blood Prince is nothing like that. The movie flows beautifully from event to event without seeming static. There is less focus on the normal everyday magical stuff that really wowed us back in the first few movies. This allows the movie to have a firm direction, more focus on the essential parts of the story and lead the audience appropriately.

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In Half-Blood Prince, we really see a lot of Tom Felton as the plot follows Draco Malfoy very closely. It is very obvious that his acting has improved dramatically and he’s matured a great deal. Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same for Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), who in my opinion, is not a very good actor, although he does have a very good scene where he drinks the Felix Felicis (read the book or watch the movie to know). I can see Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) having a relatively successful comical acting career ahead of him and as for Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), she seems to be a fan favorite and has decent acting skills. Along with Tom Felton, I was most impressed with Michael Gambon’s (Professor Albus Dumbledore) and Alan Rickman’s (Professor Severus Snape) acting in the film.

The way this film was shot was nothing less than spectacular. I believe the Potter films were all shot in Scotland and if the film failed as a Potter film, it could double as a “Visit Scotland” promotional video. Some shots of the scenery as just incredibly breathtaking. And this only contributes to the fantasy of Harry Potter. However, I did spot some scenes that I could tell was shot in front of a green screen.

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The special effects of the movie as a whole is undoubtedly very good and believable, but as always, it could have been better. What really caught me was the cinematography of the film and the colors that are used. Basically, there are two sets of color schemes. When it was needed, the film is covered in grey, green and black, making the thoughts of Voldemort, cold, evil and Slytherin pop into mind. On the other hand whenever gold and red engulf the screen, it really transmits the feeling of warmth, joy, good and Gryffindor. I guess this is typical in all the other Potter movies, but it really got to me in this film and I loved it.

Half-Blood Prince is first and foremost an action-adventure and fantasy movie but it is also a very big romance movie. In this movie we see Harry, Ron and Hermione fall in love. David Yates does well in unveiling the relationships at the right time but leaves little traces and hints throughout the whole film. The romance in this film may be nice and sweet and yada yada yada, but I doubt it will be winning any Twilight fan girls (and fanbois?) any time soon.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2008)Bonnie Wright and DANIEL RADCLIFFE

To describe Half-Blood Prince in one sentence, it is like Order of the Phoenix, except an astronomically better movie. Being one, I can safely say that Potter fan s all over the world will be satisfied, if not extremely happy with this movie. As for the general audience, I cannot say because like I said before, nobody can sit through this film without having already seen the previous five.

I loved the movie. It is highly recommendable. Take your whole family, although the young ones as well as the old ones would probably need some explaining to. I have to say that this is my third favorite film of the year and second of the summer. I can barely wait for the next two films which are, unfortunately, a year and a half and two years away, respectively.

I give Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 8/10 Popcorns

12 comment/s:

Iszaham said...

This newest installment is tempered, more assured and relaxed. It's the closest the films have come to feeling like we're just hangin' out with our favorite trio Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson (first scene when I saw Emma Watson in the Half-Blood Prince, I'm was speechless, she was so beautiful, elegant, gorgeous definitely cute) and non-the-less Rupert Grint (who brought Ron Weasley brilliantly, I love her famous quotes "Bloody Hell").

It's was hilarious to watch Harry and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are growing up and dealing with hormones racing faster than broomsticks at a Quidditch match. And that's a good thing.

For now, though, Prince treats viewers to superb effects work, longer running time, haunting art direction, great dollops of humor and emotion, and great casting. British actor who in J.K Rowling's Harry Potter franchise was brilliant in interpreted their visionary character.

Best Regards,
Iszaham
(alit review by me)
http://kerana-aku-masih-iszaham.blogspot.com/2009/07/harry-potter-and-half-blood-prince.html

Iqazuhdi said...

Eh. I commented on the wrong post =/ The one I wrote was meant for this one. Heh.

profound commentator #2 said...

what a glowing endorsement. personally i thought it stunk lol. it felt like it was directed by someone who wasn't a fan.

dumbledore is slow witted, slow-speeched and dumpy and gives off none of the energy he is supposed to have in the book.

slughorn isn't half as manipulatively jovial as i thought he should be.

harry gives off as much urgency as a drying wall of paint.

meh.

4/10

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