Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince
Am told that tickets are already sold out in many cities for showings on the first 3 days…
Do you have yours?
I saw it on Thursday at a press screening before the junket. So f-cking cute. And visually spectacular. And fun. And fastpaced. And if you don’t want the spoilers, STOP READING NOW.
Laura had told me that Lavender Brown is the scene-stealer. Totally agree. Jessie Cave is adorable. And hilarious. And Ron has his very own Twi-Hard. Because that’s exactly what Lavender is – she’s a Twi-Hard. Or, more accurately, she’s a Ron-Hard. She’s a Ron-Hard and you will love her.
What Laura didn’t mention however is that there are actually 2 scene-stealers. And the other one is Jim Broadbent as the new Potions teacher Horace Slughorn. It’s Bridget Jones’s father at Hogwarts, with a dash of Gilderoy Lockhart. Only not so handsome. And much more capable.
Needless to say, HP6 definitely balances the dark edge with a comedic lightheartedness that is totally irresistible – some might say that there was too much of the romantic shenanigans and not enough plot development, not enough action. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. There were parts of the book that were completely cut out and Potter purists will likely be arguing for months about whether or not they should have made more time for the fight sequence at the end, instead of allowing for much mooning and flirting. Thing is, a film cannot be 4 hours long – unless of course the director is Steven Soderberg and the feature is Che. At 2 and ½ hours, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is already losing at least a screening a day at every theatre. You add that up and it’s a LOT of money. Sacrifices had to be made.
So no, I didn’t mind the cute sh-t. What I did mind were a couple of key scenes that were changed significantly…
Like when Dumbledore dies. You’ll recall in the book he petrifies Harry under his invisibility cloak which is why Draco is able to disarm the Headmaster resulting in his eventual demise. This makes sense. Harry is nothing if not courageous. He is a Gryffindor! And so in the movie, when he stands by and does nothing, even though he is NOT petrified, even though he’d be completely able to at least help Dumbledore stall, or fight if necessary, it doesn’t make sense.
Why would this boy, who loves his mentor wizard, why would Harry just hide underneath the stairs silently, without action, just because he promised he would? It was a weak adjustment. Am not entirely sure why the change, and it’s been bothering me ever since.
Same goes for the fight sequences at the end. There actually were no fight sequences, really. Harry and Snape halfheartedly go at it but it’s nowhere near as intense as it was originally described, nor do we see any of the other Death Eaters scrapping with our good guys. Bill and Fleur, for example, don’t show up at all.
Argument could be made then that they’re saving up the spectacular battle scenes for the Deathly Hallows but in doing so it kinda made for an unsatisfying end to what was an extremely entertaining movie.
And one more small note that Laura had issue with – when Hermione agrees to let Cormac McLaggen take her to the Slug Party, all we see of the “Mistletoe” incident is her irritation, nothing of what really went down. Yeah we would have wanted to see what went down. And the actor who plays McLaggen, well they say he’s gorgeous. Gorgeous, yes. But in that Cormac McLaggen way. Freddie Stroma attached.
But enough of the complaining. There is more to praise than to pander.
The way Michael Gambon delivers the line “Please…” is PERFECT.
I was grinning like an idiot and hugging myself during quidditch. The formations, the wind, the speed … wanted more. More.
Hermione’s unrequited love for Ron is the sweetest ever. Her bond with Harry is even sweeter. I always want to cry every time these 3 are in a scene together just them.
For Ginny. Ginny is SO lovely. This, I think, is when she’ll shine the brightest. The Chosen One of the Chosen One. And my problem with Book 7 was that Ginny was given a very tertiary role. At the time I had griped that the Chosen One of the Chosen One should have had more of a contribution. But I’ve since modified my perspective having realised, in the telling of the story, I don’t want any girl to have more of a contribution than Hermione. Which could be a possible explanation for why Jo wrote it that way. And if that really is the case then of course the Half Blood Prince is where Ginny must illustrate why she is indeed the Chosen One of the Chosen One. And she does. Wonderfully.
How they honour Dumbledore. That’s all.
Harry and the girls – note the beauty who tries to lance him right off the top. She is BEAUTIFUL.
Bellatrix is such a f-cking badass, I love her so much. Was there anyone more perfectly cast then Helena Bonham Carter? She is so satisfyingly evil, and so wonderfully unhinged, if there was ever a spin-off I’d have a hard time choosing between her and Snape.
No one makes an exit like Severus Snape. No one else has robes that sweep so dramatically, that blow so stylishly. Alan Rickman is like the Samuel L Jackson of Harry Potter. So f-cking cool. And the sexiest motherf-cker, praise Xenu. Cannot wait to see how he plays out the end. Thinking about Snape and his Patronus always chokes me up.
And finally… Harry himself. Endearing and brave, and grown up, and wise, funny and considerate, and unfailingly loyal –as corny as this sounds, you feel proud of Harry. And this is why JK Rowling is so genius. She knows her characters. And she lets you know them in the most authentic, most engaging way possible, so that when you see him finally coming into his own, it’s an investment that pays off for everyone. This is why those who dismiss her creation as simply a story for children are simply just dumb.
It’s a good movie. And it’ll leave you so eager for more. To see how they wrap it up in 2 parts. Another year! Balls.
Go see it. And let me know your thoughts.
(it’s my favourite spell)
Photos from Wenn.com