It was a motley group of us who went to watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Some of us were die hard fans of the books, some of us die-hard fans of the movies ( and had never read the book), and some of us just for watching an interesting movie. And not one of us liked it.
I just love the Harry Potter books and hence have been time and again moderately disappointed by the movie versions simply because they dont always capture some of the essential details or parts of the storyline. But I have always appreciated the fact that it is practically not possible to do so in a movie.
However, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is so far away from the actual book that you wonder if David Yates had even bothered to read the book. And how on earth did JKR allow this to be screened.
Okay now for the review ( spoiler alert for people who have not seen the movie!). The story gets darker as Voldemort has risen and death eaters cause havoc throughout England.Harry has been declared as the Chosen One and the pressure on him to protect the wizarding world is even higher. Draco Malfoy also has chosen his side and its apparent that he is working under the orders of the Dark Lord – but what exactly are those orders? Meanwhile,Professor Dumbledore and Harry, work together to find that one weakness of Voldemort that can help in destroying him. An important new character in the movie is Professor Horace Slughorn, the new potions master, who is the only one who possesses the secret to Voldemort’s immortality. Sounds action packed and dark enough right?
Wrong. What could have been the darketst movie of all…is instead a frothy angsty teenage romance movie..urgh. The main themes mentioned above are given fleeting moments in the movie but otherwise we only watch and suffer the hormonal changes that trio ( Harry, Ron, Hermoine ) go through.
What is really frustrating is that not only has Yates taken away the meat of the 6th book – Voldemort’s history, the fight between the death-eaters and Order of Phoenix , the grand funeral of Dumbledore but has added scenes that we could have done without. The inane Lavendar Brown romancing Ron, Ginny tying Harry’s shoelaces ( WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT), the stupid smirking and snogging by Hogwart’s students – yes we know they are getting older and horny, but do you really want to spend 1 hour of precious movie running time on that??
Enough said. Even if you had not read the book, there is very little in the movie to watch out for maybe except for the performances. Daniel Radcliffe is definitely maturing to be an above average actor ( still struggles with the emotional scenes), Emma Watson is convincing as usual and Rupert as Ron is hilarious and fits his role to a T. Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasly is boring. Jim Broadbent is a delight as Prof. Slughorn and the rest of the teacher’s team perfect.
Verdict: Yuck. It made me want to go back and read HP series once again just to remind myself why it was a good thing.
And I am not being biased – do check out another review by Silver Mists on this movie.