Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series and I would consider it one of the best books of the series. So what did I think of the movie? I really liked it. There were some creative changes made in the movie that weren’t in the book, but I thought it worked for character development and ultimately a good setup for the last movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, which will be split into two parts.
Synopsis via IMDB.com:
In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Volemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the darkest film thus far, but yet they tried to lighten the darkness with the development of relationships amongst the students of Hogwarts. I admit there are a lot of details that were left out, but the gist was there while the character development was well acted by the young ensemble cast which in turn has a good lead in to the last movie(s). Although I thought the movie was good in general, I do believe the movie suffered a little bit with the PG rating. In my opinion, if the movie were rated PG-13 rating, I think this movie could have been even better. This book was dark, ominous, and a bit scary – and I can appreciate that they tried to lighten the movie, but in my opinion the movie should have been a little more menacing. The sixth book is not all about love and relationships, although there is significant relationship development which was well adapted from the book to the movie. However, there are dark things afoot and I think the movie did not fully convey that to the audience.
Great performances by the ensemble cast. Who knew that Bonnie Wright would grow up to play the role of Ginny Weasley so well? She was strong and subtle which was just right for the character. Kudos to Tom Felton as well for really stepping up his character of Draco Malfoy. You really see his internal conflicts. As conniving as he is, you aren’t sure if he is really sinister or not. As I said before, the character development in this film is really amazing and this book really delved into that not only for our favorite Hogwarts students but for Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort) as well. Jim Broadbent was brilliant as Professor Slughorn! His performance was just right, if anything I would say he played the role more compassionately than portrayed in the book which worked for the film. There were some creative changes that I liked in particular the marsh scene, I thought it was an interesting way to build up the Harry and Ginny relationship.
What Didn’t Work?
The pacing of the film was a little lopsided. It started off great and through the middle it was still well paced, but the end was rushed a bit. There was a lack of details for certain parts of the story lines. In particular Snape being the Half-Blood Prince. No, Snape is not a real prince, but his mother’s maiden name was Prince, and she was a muggle. So we find out Snape is half muggle and half wizard, hence half-blood. Also there were a series of Snape related flashbacks that showed how he was bullied by Harry’s dad James that I thought were important to show in the movie, but for some reason it was left out. I hope this is something that is shown in the 7th movie(s), because it is actually more crucial toward the 7th book than it is for the 6th book. Also what was a little lacking were the flashbacks on the ring and the locket. They sort of touched upon it and I understand for the sake of timing that Harry touching the ring was suppose to be some sort of revealing climax but I think it really didn’t make too much sense (in the grand scheme of things) except to tell the audience that they were going to the cave.
All in all, I still really enjoyed the film despite some shortcomings. Part of me wonders if I haven’t read the book, would I have enjoyed the film more or less? Also, I understand this film was PG…but come on…give Potter fans what they want and let Harry and Ginny kiss! On the flip side, I guess their relationship has more to build on for the 7th movies which will be interesting to watch. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” was a solid B in my book.