Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

Posted: June 9, 2010 in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Director: David Yates

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gambon, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent, Tom Felton and Alan Rickman

Following the success of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix director David Yates returns at the helm, directing the sixth installment of the series. The mix of comedy, romance, drama, and adventure into one, makes it marvelous and great fun to watch. It might just be the best Harry Potter film yet.

The film kicks off with a dizzying sequence where the Death Eaters attack central London resulting in the crashing of the Millennium Bridge into Thames. Then on, the main plot focus is Dumbledore (Gambon) luring former potions professor Horace Slughorn (Broadbent) back to Hogwarts so Harry (Radcliffe) can dislodge a key clue regarding the Dark Lord from the professor’s resistant mind. Slughorn taught Tom Riddle, who transformed into Lord Voldemort, and only he knows critical information crucial to unlocking the Dark Lord’s defenses. Meanwhile Draco Malfoy (Felton) is experimenting with a Vanishing Cabinet in Hogwarts’ attic while Professor Severus Snape (Rickman) makes an unbreakable vow.

Once back at Hogwarts in the sixth year, Harry finds a book on potions that has copious handwritten notes by ‘The Half Blood Prince’, which he uses. Harry’s newfound ‘skill’ at potion making draws the attention of professor Slughorn. There’s also a subplot where Harry along with his pals for eternity, Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson), are in battle with a powerful force – teenage hormones.

The acting in this film than in the earlier ones is better in quality because of the maturity of all the actors in the film. Grint shows a keen sense of comic timing as Ron. Especially the scene where he consumes the love potion is hilarious. She looks wiser Beautiful Watson engagingly deepens her version of Hermione. But best of all is Radcliffe playing Harry as he delivers the best performance so far playing this character. Gambon does solid work in the vital role of Dumbledore, as he injects humanity to the character. The pick of the acting is Broadbent’s performance as it holds the film together beautifully.

David Yates does a stylish and ingenious job with the direction as several scenes stand out in this film. Watch out for the scene when Dumbledore and Harry travel together into the caves in search of a secret. The CGI work is stellar and the sequence looks magnificent visually. The cinematography sets the tone for the whole movie right from the start, and turns the series in an even darker direction.

Die-hard fans of the books will surely complain about some deletions, especially the showdown of the good and evil in the climax, which has been cut down from a major portion in the novel to only a few minutes worth of screen time. But you will realise that this is a difficult book to adapt as it is setting up a platform for the action packed final chapter of the series which will be made into two films.

This film combines a lot of genres and makes the film feel more real and more magnificent than the others. And when it ends, you just can’t wait for the next two to release.

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