Just this once let’s separate the book from the movie. I am aware that it seems moronic given that the film is lifted from the pages of a tremendously successful literature. Nevertheless, let’s just talk about the film, shall we?
Perhaps it’s safe to say that in this installment the ante is raised to a melancholy fever; telltale signs of an epic and laborious acceptance that the journey is coming to a close is also suggested. And although we know where the armada is headed, we still sit around and allow the moving pictures play our fancy. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is squarely aimed at people who still wishes to believe in fairy tales. Tales that may or may not end in happily ever after and are close to the existentialist truth of life. The build up is a slow burn, encapsulated by the leading characters formation years. It is an epic fight between good and evil, with a primal reminder of how important right choices affect our future.
As you are all aware, our fantasy world is in peril. The Death Eaters are running amok and even the muggles are feeling the ripples of their nuisance. Dumbledore is out on secret expeditions to gather clues on how the good guys can defeat the Darth Vader of their universe and at the same time Harry is his designated foot soldier. We also meet new faces –Slughorn, McLaggen, Narcissa, Fenrir and more – to thicken the plot.
Throughout the story, normal teenage life weaves in and out, coupled by adolescence all too familiar comedic antic. Ron is suddenly shoved in the limelight – with a grating silly girl in tow. Hermione on the other hand has her wand in a bunch for being unable to handle Ron’s girlfriend, Harry’s sudden unexplained genius and a stalker-ish schoolmate.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is not an over the top staggering set piece that sweeps sequence after sequence with explotions and climaxes. But I have no qualms given that Hogwarts is an all too illustrious set piece in itself. The story telling moved gracefully even after cutting numerous corners in order to deliver and sum it up in less than three hours. The characters talking to one another also beef up the narration. What got my attention was the opening sequence which ostentatiously begs to be seen in IMAX.
Radcliffe (Potter) is still a likable presence. Behind his spectacles he bravely carries the character well just as he did in the past. Grint (Weasley) is showing his comedic chops and the great side kick takes a handful of enthusiast in his performance. I liked that he allowed himself into the joke. Watson (Granger) has blossomed into a looker. Yet I’m still waiting for more histrionics; unfortunately her acting still comes short and close to stoic. Felton (Malfoy) finally enjoys a piece of the spotlight. For someone who has a single purpose in the franchise, he has come a long way showing his ability to switch from being vile to a tortured soul.
To sum it up, it is still visually spectacular, the musical score still moves me and I sure hell still feels the hankering desire to go to Hogwarts (or countryside U.K. at least ). But then again, we are just talking about the film. If I have it sit beside the book and draw the parallels, hits and misses that’s an entire thesis to itself.