Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince review

Sally Yang ('11)/ Eastside Art Director

The long awaited release of Harry Potter’s sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, finally hit the screens on Wednesday, July 15th, as overwhelmingly huge masses of Harry Potter fans eagerly flooded into theatres Tuesday night for the midnight opening show.

Viewed holistically, the improvised plot scheme was terribly simplistic and bland, and the effort to counterbalance the lack of plot with elements of romance and humor was only somewhat effective. On the other hand, the Half-Blood Prince quite notably excelled in terms of its special effects and aesthetic components; from the very first scene’s manipulation of the Millennium Bridge in London to the picturesquely surreal representations of people’s “memories” taking tangible shapes, the stunning visual effects and the radical use of camera angles were impressive.

In addition, the cast was flawless, as usual. A central focus in the Half-Blood Prince was the loss of innocence amongst the maturing adolescents, as the majority of the film heavily revolved around the emotional entanglements between the main cast. The romantic chemistry between Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Ginny and Dean Thomas (Alfred Enoch), Ron Weasley and Lavendar Brown (Jessie Cave), Ron and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and Hermione and Cormac McLaggen (Freddie Stroma) was rather very entertaining, refreshingly lighthearted, and continually humorous. Also, Ron and his oblivious naïveté, along with some of the series’ newest and vibrantly animated characters, created most of the film’s comical aspect. Characters such as Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), and Lavendar Brown added colorful variations to the role play.

However, the most neglected portion of the film seems to have been the essence of the plot itself.  In an attempt to incorporate so much humor and romance into the already intricate plot of the original text, the film completely excluded crucial and sometimes even pivotal series of events that would be required in order to continue on to the seventh sequel. And unfortunately, the plot’s sacrifice had been in vain, for while most of the scenes were humorous and entertaining individually, they added minimally to the overall battle scheme between Harry and Voldemort. The transition between each scene was so inadequate that the audience was forced to decipher and connect the choppy and awkward order of scenes; and in the midst of this prevailing convoluted choppiness, the real plot was lost. And as if this was not enough, the finale and the most important battle scene of the novel were entirely left out with the exception of the single crux of the plot, which indicates that approximately 125 minutes had been squandered to climax – if it climaxed at all – into practically nothing.

Overall, the mild and meager structure definitely outweighed the relatively diminutive advantages of the film’s comical and romantic adornments. With the absence of sufficient suspense, thrill, and action as well as the finale, the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince may just about be the most mild and weakest film yet in its series.