Some nice touches
Excellent costumes and settings
ConsPales in comparison to the book
It is hard giving an unbiased opinion of the Harry Potter films when you are a fan of the books. Comparing the two is inevitable and most of the time the books will win out. This is largely due to the reader's imagination having control over the plot, in so many ways. After all the reader's imagination will conjure up, for example, physical appearances and make them very personal. With films, someone has already done this for you and the end result can be disappointing.
In December of 2009 we purchased the DVD of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince and enjoyed a further viewing, but this time in the comfort of our home.
So after that brief explanation and introduction, this review will attempt to assess Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince as a stand alone film, and also as an interpretation of the book, from a fan's perspective.
The Plot briefly.
On the whole Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince is a dark tale.
Early in the film we see the Death-eaters, whose name conjures up all sorts of happenings, destroying London landmarks and generally wreaking havoc in the ordinary day to day, non magical, muggle world. However, this destruction is not only happening there. The magical community is also seeing places destroyed and people disappearing without trace.
Although initially anxious about his return to Hogwart's, Harry and his school friends return for another term. With arch enemy Malfoy being more obnoxious than ever, and Severus Snape seeming to suck up to Malfoy at every opportunity, Harry and his friends look set for a dismal time.
Voldemort and his death eaters are gathering strength and it would seem that his full return is imminent. Dumbledore is still fighting hard to prevent Voldemort's return and the search for the vital Horcruxes continues. Each Horcrux is made up of a piece of Voldemort's soul. This act has only been possible through the death of some poor soul. In fact, Voldemort has split his soul seven times and committed seven murders for the purpose of creating Horcruxes.
All of this puts Dumbledore in a dangerous position and forces are at large attempting to secure Voldemort's death.
Will they succeed? Will the Horcruxes be found in time?
As a stand alone film.
This film is directed by David Yates and in the UK is rated as a PG, for parental guidance. This rating is appropriate as there are many scenes which could be disturbing for a very young audience. With this film including Infereri, the living dead, and more, it is definitely not for the very young.
As a film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is full of excellent special effects, has great characters and an exceptional cast. The cast includes:-
Helena Bonham Carter.
Of course, these are just the main stars and regulars such as Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, David Bradley, Timothy Spall and Julie Walters also appear. As is usual with Harry Potter films, there is a huge cast. The musical score adds to the general sombre mood and fits this film well.
The story is well told and gripping in parts but The Half Blood Prince is a long film. Even as an ardent fan I did find that I dozed off for a few minutes in the middle of the film. So that means that, although this film is entertaining, it did not grab my attention fully all the time.
The running time is 153 minutes.
As a Harry Potter fan.
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince is said by many to be the best Harry Potter film so far, and I have to agree. However, it could have been so much better. Comparing this film to the book leaves the film in a poor second place.
This is not simply because books are usually better.
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince was the sixth book in the series and it was a substantial read. With such long books it is always necessary to condense the plot somewhat. However, to my mind this reduction left some of the most relevant parts out of the film. For instance, the funeral at the end of the book is not even shown in the film.
Such exciting scenes as the one where Dumbledore and Harry try to find a Horcrux that has been left in a cave, are not done justice at all in the film. In the book this scene is tense and gripping but it just seemed cut short in the film. A final example is, when the jinxed necklace works its spell on Katie . For someone who has not read the books this scene would have simply been confusing.
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince is an exciting film full of dark magic and great characters. Some of the performances by the children are still a little wooden but, on the whole, the cast play their parts well.
However, with the exceptional draft the scriptwriters were given, namely J K Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book, this film could, and should, have been so much better.
The DVD includes extras and bonus material and can be bought for around Â£10