What can be said about a movie that fans will wait outside the theatre for over twelve hours for? (And not just to purchase the tickets – but to get good seats in the theatre!)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth installment in the legacy of “Harry Potter” and has long been reviewed as one of the all time favorite books in the series for it’s dark subject matter, heavy themes, and dramatic ending (which won’t be revealed here, don’t worry).

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Because of these reasons, many have been baffled and have scoffed at the mere rating of PG, especially when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was rated PG-13. However, I did my best to go into this movie with an open mind – as an avid reader of the books, I had previously been disappointed in the way they turned out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HBP) is a movie with a heavy doomsday feel. And why shouldn’t it have one? The Dark Lord returned two movies ago and everyone knows a war is coming.

The opening scene is one set at the very end of the fifth movie, leaving the viewer wondering if this movie picks up right where the other left off. It doesn’t.

Right after the opening title we’re transported to Little Whinging, the town in which Harry lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin (none of which are present in this installment of the films).

The movie is, without a doubt, a technically appealing film. The cinematography is gorgeous and the editing is seamless. It is a phenomenal film, in that aspect. However, fans of the book will be left disappointed.

There is heavy foreshadowing throughout the movie that hints on the dramatic ending. Fans who have read the book will know immediately what this means and will be left with a bad taste in their mouths.

One of the major appeals of the book was that the story line surrounding Draco Malfoy that left readers in the dark. In the movie, however, there is a lot of screen time allotted to Draco and the viewer learns very quickly what he is up to. It is easy to determine why someone is up to something once you learn what that person is up to, though, and so a bit of the ending may be spoiled for the viewer.

Earlier the rating of the film was called into question and it bears repeating: this is not a film for the children.

HBP continues to follow the dark track the books lay out for it. There is a scene in the movie reminiscent of Greek mythology with heavy reference to the River Styx. Those who have even just a little knowledge of Greek mythology know that the River Styx is the passage to death. Just about everyone can pick up on what this is implying.

What follows after this is a scene reminiscent of modern day horror and zombie films, one that left me shaking in my seat from the “jump out and scare” tactics. Needless to say, the heavy violent imagery of this movie did not warrant a PG rating – it should’ve been slapped with a PG-13.

All in all, fans of the books will be left with an awkward, sour taste in their mouths. The movie was good, but it was missing key points from the book and added in things that changed the overall feel of the movie.

Fans of the movies will be pleased, but perhaps a little miffed at the foreshadowing that seemed to make the ending clear about half way into the film. Over all, a viewer must remember to enjoy the movie for what it is – an adaptation of a famous book, but not a carbon copy of the book itself.

4/5  Stars

2 COMMENTS

  1. Fortunately for the discerning few, movies and books are not in fact one in the same and “ne’er the tween shall meet”. As text allows each “viewer” one’s own interpretation guided only by the extent of one’s imagination, to dare compare a movie to the book is hazardous at best. Still, we are compelled to commit the evil deed at every turn. Let the film stand as a film. If it is skillful quality entertainment in it’s own right, leave it alone. Why bash the filmmaker over the obvious limitations of putting imagination into a tangible format. One is fish, one is fowl…….

  2. stopped reading the books back in elementary school
    but it’d be intriguing to see something in that vein with a darker tone
    i’m hoping it helps that i didn’t read the book

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