My review of “Half-Blood Prince”.
I must point out I’m more than a casual Harry Potter fan, and while I hate excessive movie changes, I’m not a purist in any way. In other words, I don’t care whether Harry (SPOILER!) kissed Ginny in a common room or library. Or similar details.
Naturally, I watched all of the previous HP films. Of course they don’t do justice to the books, but I managed to be entertained anyway. However, my number one complaint was that the films always lacked all those “little details” we all loved. There was just plot plot plot. Not in “Half-Blood Prince”. Oh, no.
“Half-Blood Prince” was all about the atmosphere. This fact was sometimes used for nothing. They still made so many changes and so many details were missing, but for the first time, they included many unnecessary scenes that didn’t have anything to do with the main plot. I always thought I’d love that approach, but I must admit it was…. Well, boring. The first 2/3 of the film is exactly it- boring. Nothing happens. Nothing. Ok, something does happen. The whole hour or so is dedicated to teenage angst and relationship between Ron and Lavander, Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny and Harry, Ron and that chick who made love potion. Those scenes were cute, but man, they absolutely didn’t deserve as much of a screen time! At the end, we didn’t really see (SPOILER!) Harry and Ginny dating and breaking up, which was, more or less, the whole point of that segment of the story in the book 6.
On the other hand, the plot itself was nowhere to be found in that first hour (hour and the half?) We did see a bit of Tom Riddle, but those scenes, while memorable, were too quick. We didn’t really learn anything about him, and I always thought (correct me if I’m wrong), Tom Riddle’s history was the whole point of the story before the “big plot”.
And yet… And yet I liked it. I can’t help it. It had something unseen in the previous films, a unique, darker setting and different atmosphere. And still, that atmosphere (with the help of slow pacing), allowed us to feel characters for the first time. Honestly, this was the first time since the beginning of the series I could really connect with the characters, be it Harry, Hermione or Dumbledore. Daniel Radcliffe’s acting abilities are still nowhere to be found (can that boy cry in a scene????), so I guess it’s due to directing.
Also, “Half-Blood Prince” is visually stunning, better than its predecessors. And when I say “better”, I don’t mean on technology, but the atmosphere. Camera shots, lightening, everything was perfect to set up an epic atmosphere needed for this film. It was good. And since we finally got a plot in the last 1/3 of the film, I’d say it was a nice experience in overall.
Thumbs up: Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Jim Broadbent, cinematography, more details, the whole tone of the film
Thumbs down: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, teenage romance & angst, slow first hour
The best scene: Harry and Dumbledore standing on a rock at the sea
The worst scene: All involving “romance” (Hermione crying, Ron in hospital, etc)
WTF of the film: Draco looks like Eminem
Rating: *** out of *****