Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

At two hours and thirty-three minutes in running length, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince could easily grow tiresome. But somehow, I was surprised when it ended. screen-capture That is not entirely a compliment to the filmmakers. The movie ends very abruptly. Sure, it is a cliff-hanger, setting up the next installment, but the way the final scene is directed is both extremely awkward and terribly unsatisfying.

Except for the ending though, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is pretty entertaining. For most of the 153 minutes I was right there with them. Having watched Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up over the years of the series, it is a lot of fun to see them in silly and sweet romantic scenes here. Ron is particularly funny and beyond that storyline, I will always love the character of Professor Snape who may be the most droll character in all of filmdom. Yes, I will admit it. I love Alan Rickman. And I also thoroughly enjoyed the character of Luna who I wish had a much bigger role.

The evil Voldemort, however, is entirely missing this time around and the malevolence is mostly spearheaded by Bellatrix Lestrange and a band of Death Eaters running around doing very bad things, like burning down the Weasley’s house and destroying the main dining hall. Draco Malfoy is the inside boy at Hogwarts doing the evil one’s bidding, poisoning and cursing with Snape’s protection. The new character in this episode is Professor Slughorn who is brought back to the wizarding school to reveal the One Who Must Not be Named’s secret. In some ways it seems like the wizarding in this episode is only background for the romantic storylines. But hey, that’s just fine with me.

The serial nature of Harry Potter is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there is the familiarity that lets you love the characters, even Snape who you love to distrust (or do you?) But on the other hand, there are tons of assumptions made of the audience, and just maybe a few too many references to previous films. I don’t think that any of the series could actually be seen as a stand-alone movie.

And strangely, the title of this movie is never really explained. Sure we find out sort of in passing that Snape is the Half Blood Prince, but not what that means. A little too little slim on the explanation for titling a whole film if you ask me. I read this book, in fact all the Harry Potter books, and seemed to remember there being a lot more story with Snape to justify naming the whole book after him. It is strange the things they added that were not in the book and those that they left out entirely. I cannot see that they helped the story in their changes. But not being a nit-picker about adaptations, I would say go, see, enjoy. Just be prepared for the “huh?” at the end.

1 Comments

  1. Mainstream Chick, August 9, 2009:

    I finally saw this one – with my almost-10-year-old niece and (somewhat older) father. My niece had already seen it once, so that speaks volumes. And my dad credits the music with helping to keep this 2:33 movie moving along. So I can honestly say this movie can appeal to several generations and does indeed move at a nice, steady clip. I haven’t read the books, but this movie really made me want to… so that I’m better informed for the final installments. Harry et al are really growing up nicely and this franchise most definitely has benefited from solid acting performances all around.

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