RELEASED 2009 RUNTIME 153 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION DAVID YATES SCREENPLAY STEVE KLOVES STARRING DANIEL RADCLIFFE, RUPERT GRINT, EMMA WATSON, JIM BROADBENT, HELENA BONHAM CARTER, ROBBIE COLTRANE, WARWICK DAVIS, MICHAEL GAMBON, ALAN RICKMAN, MAGGIE SMITH, TIMOTHY SPALL, DAVID THEWLIS, JULIE WALTERS, TOM FELTON MUSIC NICHOLAS HOOPER
Harry Potter And The Halfblood Prince is the 6th film in the Harry Potter saga and continues to build up towards its big bad guy, Lord Voldemort. As his grip tightens around the magic world, Dumbledore and Harry are on a mission to find clues about how to destroy Lord Voldemort.
While this isn’t my favorite Potter film, it’s a critical piece because it feels like it’s setting up the finale of the saga.
Now, this can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending where you are coming from I guess. If you look at the movie as it’s own entity, it certainly isn’t as strong of a film. It has a very open end and even the premise suggests that there is more to come afterwards.
However, if you look at it as a piece of a bigger story, it gives you a lot to like and is really intriguing. We learn a big deal about Lord Voldemort’s past. There is a lot of flashbacks that show you him as a kid in school. It fleshes out his character and gives you a nice perspective about his character. While it won’t make you sympathize with him, at least you see the “human” Tom Riddle who started out like every other guy at Hogwarts. Now, I just want to know how he got so disfigured =)
The movie also focuses on Drako Malfoy and Snape. Especially Drako gets more screen time and plays an important role. Same goes for Snape who has some surprises in his sleeves… literally 😉
Fans of Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) also get more to see from her, where previously she was a little wasted.
But the biggest focus lies on Dumbledore and Harry. You not only get to spend a lot of time with them and see their relationship develop, but they also are responsible for bringing in some of the most lovely characters into Hogwarts, Prof. Slughorn played by the great Jim Broadbent.
Oh, btw, he is not a teacher for defense against the dark arts. Can you believe it?! At this point you have to scream it out into the world! He actually is a potions master, hurray!
One thing that I noticed right away was the cinematography and the grit. It looks beautiful and the visuals are great. The CGI is seamless and looks fantastic in a pretty desaturated world. The color palette ranges from dark blues to grays, but isn’t boring whatsoever. It just effectively communicates the somber tone of the story. We can literally feel the series moving towards its big finale. Also, some of the imagery reminds of the Lord Of The Rings movies. It’s very epic in scale.
Once again, with this movie the series continues its trend towards more adult themes and tone. Maybe this movie is the most character driven yet. As said above, there are a few character surprises along the way that I won’t spoil, as well, as a very dramatic ending.
Nevertheless, even with the dark tone, the movie makers didn’t forget to put some levity into the film. Especially everything involving Ron is very funny and lighthearted. On the other hand we see some great tension develop between him and Hermione. I love their relationship. I certainly hope they make out at one point of the series =)
There isn’t really much to say about the film without spoiling. Overall, it’s a very dark film with somber imagery and dramatic character arcs. It looks very mature and by now has reached such an epic scale that you can’t wait for the big finale. It sets up Deathly Hallows very nicely and sort of ends on a cliff hangar. It’s a very good movie and maybe the most crucial part for the arc of the overall series.