Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: Film Review.
July 16, 2009 2 Comments
Warning *contains spoilers* even if you have read the books (which I can never understand those who haven’t) there are some new scenes in the film that I don’t want to spoil for you.
I was always going to complain that the film differed from the book, despite the fact I know it is impossible to keep everything in. What I did object to were a couple of new scenes, Harry chatting up waitresses and the Weasley house going up in flames (heartbreaking), when they could have used that time to include more scenes from the book, like the victorious Quidditch game where Harry and Ginny get together or Christmas at The Burrow, with all the added bad feeling between the Weasley’s and Fleur, but there was no Fleur and no Bill!
Some of the added dialogue worked very well though. I especially liked the added humour to the scene where Harry is under the influence of Felix (pincers, snip, snip, clip) and Slughorn talking of his relationship with Lilly and the fish magic. Very nice touch. The hospital scene where Ron and Lavender now break up was also brilliant and hilarious. Jessie Cave captures leech like, loved up Lavender perfectly; fantastically annoying and slightly psychotic.
One main annoyance was the lack of invisibility cloak in certain scenes, especially during the death of Dumbledore where in the book Harry is paralysed. I would have liked to have scene that section be truer to the book, with the fight where Neville, Luna, Bill et al come into play, so I thought it was a shame this was all changed. Then again this could be just that I am a pedant.
The young Tom Riddle scenes were just what I expected, chillingly brilliant, although the lack of the Gaunt house scene was a bit disappointing. The cave scene with Dumbledore and Harry was epic, very different to what I imagined, scenery wise, but it worked perfectly.
Despite reading several pieces suggesting that the acting of the main three, Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, wasn’t really up to scratch, I thought they were all perfect and played their parts brilliantly. The humorous exchanges and expressions were well done and the foibles of young wizard love portrayed beautifully. The veteran actors were all, as usual, exceptional; Alan Rickman once again played a brilliant Snape, Helena Bonham Carter brought out the sinister madness of Bellatrix and Michael Gambon was the humorous, loving, brilliant Dumbledore. Jim Broadbent also brought Slughorn to life perfectly, a great new face to the cast.
Bonnie Wright was also very good in her expanding role of Ginny, Evanna Lynch once again became the perfect Luna and Tom Felton made Draco both nasty and sympathetic. All the cast worked brilliantly and all of the younger set are getting better as the get older, making me look forward even more to the Deathly Hallows films.
In all, despite the changes, it was an incredible film. Standing alone, without the books to compare to and complain about differences, it would be perfect. The whole thing flew by, fast paced, leaving you desperate for more. Fortunately we still have two instalments of the Deathly Hallows to go and I am pretty confident in saying that they will be absolutely amazing.
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