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Harry Potter Countdown: “The Half-Blood Prince” Review

 

Kieran’s Rating: 7.5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.7/10
(4 rating total)

It’s day six of our Harry Potter Countdown and the big day is nearly here. And to add to your anticipation for that big event we are reviewing 2009’s entry in the series Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

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After David Yates made a very dark, mature and stylish blockbuster and one of the best “Harry Potter” films, Warner Brother showed its faith by allowing him to direct the rest of the series. But while he did not quite drop the ball, he was butter fingered this time round.

In Harry and Co.’s sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry has lost the closest father figure he had and Voldermort’s resurrection has become public knowledge. With the Death Eaters causing death and destruction, they recruit Malfoy (Tom Felton) to conduct a mission in Hogwarts and Dumbledore teaches Harry about Voldermort’s past for his own deadly mission. And all this goes on with Harry, Ron and Hermione suffering teenage love trouble.

Yates was able to handle some crisp action sequences and he knows how to deliver a creepy atmosphere. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin gives a great combo as the 11-year-old version of Lord Voldermort as a dark, scary child and oozed a bleak charisma. The sequence within the cave was done with a slow intense build-up and lead to effective scares. Tom Felton also really grew as an actor and was able to match Alan Rickman when he was with that experienced actor. Malfoy was fleshed from the annoying spoiled rich kid to a much more conflicted, complex and therefore interesting character. And of course all the action, special effects, acting and set and costume designs were of a high level which will satisfy Potter fans.

Praise should go to Bruno Delbonnel’s sombre cinematography. His darker, less colorful lighting and excellent camera work added to the brooding nature of many aspects of the film. Yates direction was more conventional and he took less stylish approach, but he was simply making it more like the previous films.


But “The Half-Blood Prince” is a lighter then its predecessor. For all the good work with the dark elements, Yates and Steve Kloves set out to tone it down with comic scenes. There are more subplots in this film with Ron going out with extremely clingy Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave), Harry’s crush on Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and Hermione avoiding a dimwitted jock who fancies her. Because of these subplots “The Half Blood Prince” loses some focus and the lighter moments do not blend as well with the darker material. “Order of the Phoenix” was a fast-paced adventure where everything fit together, but “Prince” was a slower, saggy affair, and a “Harry Potter” film should not be like that.

As an adaptation, “The Half-Blood Prince” is one of the most disloyal. Of course changes had to be made, but with this “Potter” film many characters were hollowed, other scenes cuts, lost most of the flashbacks, new scenes were added and the tragic incident was heavily toned down. The book had problems, but overall it was well written novel and the film did not use its full potential.

Rating: 7.5/10

Player Affinity Composite Rating: 7.7/10


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (book)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman

 

Rating
7.7

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