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Who is the Half Blood Prince? Who cares?!
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (DVD)
Member Name: candyfloss89
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (DVD)
Advantages: perect mixture of humour and sadness, fantastic characters such as Ron, Luna and Draco
Disadvantages: Pathetic reveal of the Half Blood Prince, dodgy opening, stupid scenes that dont happen in the book
I am a huge Harry Potter fan and every time a new Harry Potter film comes out, I go to see it and come back disappointed that it doesn't live up to the book. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this film!
Having returned to power in the previous film, Voldemort and his Death Eaters are tightening their grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. With the knowledge that Harry Potter is the "chosen one", the only one capable of defeating Voldermort, Dumbledore is intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work through Dumbledore's memories of Voldermort in order to find the key to unlocking Voldermort's defences to finally destroy him. But as Harry battles to equip himself with enough knowledge to finally be able to destroy his enemy, he also has many secrets to discover. Like what is Draco Malfoy's assignment and why is Professor Snape helping him? Who is the Half Blood Prince to which Harry's mysterious old potions textbook belongs too? And what is the significance of the ring which turned Dumbledore's hand black?
The start of the film is just weird and a bit pointless. We see Harry Potter eating alone in a café, brazenly reading a wizard paper in front of muggles and flirting with a muggle waitress! It's just a silly scene. The book makes it clear that Harry has to be protected at all times because Voldermort and the death eaters are after him. So he is usually surrounded by other powerful wizards who can fight with him if he is attacked. To have him sat alone in a café contradicts the danger he is in which is ridiculous since Harry is effectively a marked man. The opening in the book is much better.
The romances, particularly Harry and Ginny's, are annoying. Now let me make it clear that I HATE chick flicks and romantic comedies and I also hate the pairing of Harry and Ginny in the book so my opinion here might be a bit biased. However, I just found the whole thing cringeworthy. Ginny tying Harry's shoelaces, the cheesy music when they finally kissed, the fact that they have absolutely no chemistry together and the girl playing Ginny isn't the best actress. Luckily, it's not featured too much in the film.
There's one scene where the Weasley's house (The Burrow) is attacked by Death Eaters. It's not a very long scene but it didn't happen in the book and is completely pointless as far as I can see. It made Harry's character seem unlikeable since he puts them all in danger without a second thought in this scene. And it reinforces the cheesy romance between Harry/Ginny as she runs after him to protect. It was just unnecessary and I feel that this and the opening could have been cut and replaced with one of the numerous scenes that DID happen in the book but had to be cut from the film.
The revelation of the identity of the Half Blood Prince is just appalling. It's badly explained and once you find out who it is your like, so what? There's seems to be no point in it what so ever. The whole Half Blood Prince angle becomes more of a subplot rather than anything else which is silly because the Half Blood Prince is the name of the film! It should have more of a dramatic reveal because currently it has no impact and doesn't really do justice to the character who is revealed to be the Half Blood Prince.
A lot of hardcore Potter fans were upset that Dumbledore and Harry's trips into the Pensieve were cut. This is where they jumped into memories about Voldermort's past in order to learn more about him so that they would how to defeat him. We see two of these visits in the film but in the book there's about 4 or 5. Fans argue that these are important in order to understand Voldermort and for that reason they shouldn't have been cut. However, I feel that too many flashbacks into the past would have made the movie disjointed, with constant switching between past and present. I also think that it would have made the film much longer if all these scenes were to be included. Therefore, the emission of these scenes is a good thing in my opinion because it shortens the length of an already long film and makes it flow better.
There's a lot of funny scenes. For example, the Ron and Lavender's relationship is hilarious and gets a few laughs as it's a welcome change from the cheesy Harry/Ginny relationship. Also, Harry under the influence of a good luck potion and Ron under the influence of a love potion are also very funny moments and had the audience laughing out loud. Ron's character in general is just hilarious and very well acted, as is the part of Luna Lovegood who doesn't appear very often but is bound to have you laughing out loud whenever she does make an appearance. The humour is a great contrast to the darker scenes and provides much needed light relief and this is faithful to the books also because although generally very dark, Harry Potter books are also very funny. I don't think any of the previous films have managed the balance as well as The Half Blood Prince does.
There are some really moving scenes, one in particular brought tears to my ears and left the whole cinema subdued. Fans of the book should know which scene I'm referring to. It is beautifully done and well acted. As is the cave scene, with fantastic special effects and imagery and the scenes involving young Tom Riddle are very creepy. Overall I think it adapts certain scenes perfectly well. Yes I've complained about scenes which are left out, or ones which are added but the scenes taken straight from the book stay faithful and true to how they were written. This is a major advantage for me because sometimes I feel that the films are nothing like the books and this puts me off.
The acting from the older cast is generally superb. Yes some of the younger cast are a bit of a let down but you tend to forget that because it is overshadowed by fantastic performances from other members of the cast such as Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy. Malfoy's always been a villain and Harry's arch enemy. In this film, you actually end up feeling sorry for him and come to understand why he acts the way he does.
If you're going to see this film, the best advice I could give is NOT to read the book before hand. If you do, you just sit there the whole way through comparing it to the book and it's never going to live up to expectations if you do that. I actually feel that of all the Harry Potter films, this is the film closest to the book. However it's no coincidence that I feel this having not read the book for some time and I definitely think this helped me to enjoy the film more.
You'll hear a lot of complaints about scenes being cut but honestly, if you've read the book you should see that this isn't necessary a bad thing because endless trips into the pensieve are not needed.
I am one of the Harry Potter films fiercest critics but I feel this definetley deserves a look!
Summary: A fantastic adaption that in general stays faithful to the book!