Harry Potter (Radcliffe) returns for yet another magical and action-packed year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with his best friends, Ron Weasley (Grint) and Hermione Granger (Watson). Dumbledore seeks Harry’s help and sets a task which only he can accomplish; this task could possibly reveal one of the greatest secrets of Lord Voldemort. Harry already has a lot on his plate when he finds a mysterious Potions textbook which had belonged to the so-called “Half-Blood Prince”. Little does he know of the trouble a simple textbook can create.
The sixth installment of the Harry Potter series manages to fit the requirement of most fans and leaves them in awe at the end. But really, what does a person expect when they decide to go to the cinema and watch this movie? It’s not just the brilliant landscapes which Stuart Craig (production design) manages to deliver, but the use of special effects that are more magical than special in manner. The spectacular effects manage to convince the audience that books can really float in mid-air and allocate themselves. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a place where magic is incorporated into everything and plays a role in every situation, whether it is romance or sports.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is directed by David Yates, who also directed the previous installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. That movie only received satisfactory reviews due to the fact that the storyline failed to demonstrate the key ideas in the book. Yates definitely proves himself in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by doing what he does best: framing and connecting the big, dramatic scenes and molding the quieter scenes into touching ones. Along with the help of Stuart Craig and Bruno Delbonnel (cinematography), the threesome succeed in making a beautifully paced film.
Some may argue that there was a little too much romance in the film and too little focus on defeating the villain, Lord Voldemort. So yes, if you’re not willing to deal with the dramatically mushy moments in the film, this movie isn’t right for you. A development in the characters can be observed through the formation of new relationships. It is evident that Hermione Granger (Watson) has strong feelings for Ron Weasley (Grint), who tends to be dense when it comes to noticing such a thing. In previous movies, Grint played the role of a trusty sidekick and best friend, but is never quite satisfied due to the fact that the limelight is always on Harry. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Grint brilliantly plays Ron, who is now portrayed as a boy who basks in attention when he gets it.
When Ron performs splendidly in his first Quidditch match, he enjoys the attention given to him by the members of his house, and ends up in a relationship with lovesick Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave). Watson spectacularly fulfills the role of the emotional, heartbroken, and angry Hermione Granger. She displays a spot-on interpretation of Granger and is able to portray every angle of the character. Radcliffe cleverly plays the role of Harry Potter, the protagonist, and displays the usual attitude of humbleness, bravery, courage, and acceptance of responsibility. Potter also develops feelings for Ginny Weasley and is secretly enveloped with jealousy because she is in a relationship with Dean Thomas. Ron’s protectiveness over her doesn’t exactly make the situation any better for him. Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint marvelously manage to show growth, both mental and physical, in their appointed roles.
While most movies have their heroes, there always needs to be a couple of people that help them achieve their heroicness. In other words, no hero is a hero without the villains. There are, of course, the obvious villains that give their identity away by their physical appearances. The crazy and wild Bellatrix Lestrange, played flawlessly by Helena Bonham Carter, is a perfect example of such a villain. Then there’s Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape who exceeds expectations with his dark yet sarcastic attitude. Tom Felton manages to convey the terrified yet bold character of Draco Malfoy, brilliantly showing how responsibility can affect a person. The actors succeed in creating a dark and suspenseful atmosphere, combined with the shadowy landscapes.
It is clear that the combination of action, adventure, mystery, and fantasy, mixed with a tablespoon of magic really does create a phenomenon. With a budget of 250 million dollars, the film definitely shows beneficial results in the end, with a gross revenue of 900 million dollars. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the kind of film that can be seen and enjoyed by anyone, of any age. The slightly younger audience would thoroughly enjoy the swishing and flicking of the wands, resulting in something that is really tangible. The older audience would appreciate the mystery, suspense, and comedy, coupled with romance.
The movie ends with a sudden series of events taking place which slightly change the course of the film. The audience is left in astonishment, even those who have read the book, and are craving for a sequel. Overall, Yates succeeds in interpreting J.K Rowling’s book in a beautiful manner, and possibly fulfills the audience’s expectations. Let’s hope that Yates can keep up this positive impression and doesn’t disappoint the viewers with the release of the last two parts of the series.
Those who enjoy magic and mystery will definitely enjoy Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The performances of the cast are worth watching, as are the special effects. Even those who aren’t interested in such genres may find something else in the film that is to their liking. Nevertheless, the legendary series is coming to an end so most Harry Potter maniacs are treasuring what’s left of it. After all, who wouldn’t love to be transported to a magical world for 153 minutes?