MOVIE REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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Perhaps the fact that this is one of the most highly awaited and anticipated movies of the year will make any review of it redundant, since most people would have made up their minds to watch it irrespective of what the reviewers have to say. Hence the job of the reviewer, already difficult in the face of the hysterical fanaticism surrounding the Harry Potter franchisee, will be made even more challenging as a result of the insular audience. Moreover, in the event of a less than obsequious review, the reviewer shall almost certainly be torn apart by a furious fandom.

However be that as it may, it needs must be said that the movie based on the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series fails to meet up to expectations. Directed by David Yates and produced by Warner Bros., the film seems to have set out to create a story all of its own, merely borrowing a few characters from the original book in the process. To those familiar with the Harry Potter books the events as they unfold in the movie shall come as quite an unpleasant surprise. Although movies traditionally do diverge from the original plot in the novel to make it shorter or more visually appealing, the gross elimination of absolutely essential points in the book and its replacement with trivial frivolities will be a thorn in the flesh of every true Harry Potter fan. Gone are the detailed memories of Voldemort’s past that Harry explores during his sojourns in the penseive. Characters crucial to the story of the seventh book have completely failed to make an appearance while the culminating and highly anticipated fight between the death eaters and the students within the Hogwarts castle is entirely and inexplicably absent.

What results is a tame and insipid story full of school girlish romance and little else. Almost the whole of the movie focuses on the trials of the heart faced by the main characters, and while this was indeed touched upon in the original book, it seems to have assumed centre stage in the movie. The producers may have been trying to cash in on the massive Twilight craze with this cheap stunt, but the result is that the plot is a gigantic failure.

Not so the cinematic effects. While the corrupted storyline might cause it to be voted the worst Harry Potter movie plot wise, the breathtaking cinematic effects are sure to raise its stock sky high. Brilliant direction and exquisite animation and special effects make the movie an intensely wonderful visual experience. Harry Potter’s world, albeit the twisted one of the movie, comes alive with this motion picture. Truly, magic never looked so real.

The acting again is mixed. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange is simply breathtaking in the short while that she occupies the screen, while Rupert Grint playing Ron Weasely does a creditable performance. Michael Gambon is an imposing albeit slightly over the top Dumbledore while Alan Rickman as usual plays Snape to perfection. Jim Broadbent too, very well portrays the newly introduced character of Horace Slughorn. Daniel Radcliff and Emma Watson however are again disappointing with their amateurish acting and unconvincing manner of expression.

Overall, the superb cinematic effects manage to make up for both the weak plot and tiresome lead actors, saving this movie from becoming the utter fiasco to be added to the list of failed book adaptations that it was otherwise headed to be.

My Rating:

Plot/Story: 1/5

Special Effects: 5/5

Overall: 2.5/5


Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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