It’s here, it’s finally here! And in a word it’s FANTASTIC. I’m not going to be so bold as to say that hardcore Potter fans can lay their fears to rest. I’m the last person in the world to be speaking for them. What I can tell you is as a casual fan, more of the films than of the books, I thought Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was exciting, dark, dramatic and fun.
Let’s begin with the screenplay. If you’ve read the book you know there’s a lot of story to cram into a film. I feel as if all the important things were left in and the right plot points were highlighted. Draco Malfoy plays a crucial role in this installment and the perfect amount of screen time is dedicated to his story. I know a few Draco fans who will not be disappointed. That being said, it is a long movie full of lengthy scenes of talking; an unusual move for a summer blockbuster where the word of the day is “spectacle”. Hopefully you’ll be so happy to be once again immersed in the world of Hogwarts that you won’t mind waiting for the next action bit.
Much is being made about how all the Potter kids have grown up in the course of five movies. What I found more remarkable than just the physical changes was how each of them has grown as an actor. In Half Blood Prince Rupert Grint in particular gets to stretch his comedic muscles as Ron and Daniel Radcliffe’s brings maturity to his portrayal of Harry Potter. Harry has had a lot to deal with the last two movies and Radcliffe has stepped up to the challenge nicely. Emma Watson is a little less annoying as Hermione, if you can believe it. She’s a girl in love in this one. While it’s the “prone to cry at the drop of a wand” love she’s not “gooey, make you want to stick a fork in her hand” love. Credit has go to director David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007) for taking what must have been the daunting task of encapsulating an enormous book, wrangling a sizable cast and presenting a finished product that is true to it’s source material, charming and emotional.
If you were carried away by the ending of the book you best lay in a fresh supply of tissues. Those movie theater napkins can chafe.
So when does the next film come out? I’m ready!