Saturday, 28 January 2012

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Review

Hey, I have a good idea.  Let's take a bunch of horny teenagers and teach them how to use strong love potions.  That won't cause problems at all.  Seriously, though.  This installment of the Harry Potter story takes the same formula but then changes how it uses that.  There's the obligatory new year at Hogwarts with the new teacher that we have to learn about.  There's a self contained story that is used to move the much larger saga along.  But what is different about this one is that it is a bridge piece.  While they have the two levels of the story in this one, they were much more intertwined and reliant on each other than in the past movies which is what I wanted.

While all of the stories do bridge together the whole epic tale, I really got the feeling that JK Rowling didn't have the final pieces in her mind as to how the whole thing would unfold and end until the Order of the Phoenix.  I do believe that it was always going to have an end because Messianic stories of good vs evil have to.  There can never be a story like that without an end in sight.  Order of the Phoenix ended with basically a vow for the kids to defeat Voldemort.  Because these stories are so detailed and have fairly intricate plots with many characters, she couldn't just jump into the finale.  That would cause too many questions and holes.  So, this bridge story leading to the final battle had to occur.  And, as with most bridge stories, there seem to be more questions than before.  But now these new questions can be answered in an "all will be revealed" finale because they are questions that now have planned answers.

As bridge pieces go, this one is quite good.  Instead of using too many characters and plot points as they seemed to do in the previous movies, it seemed to be more focused on what I can only assume will be the more important people and themes in the finale.  After six stories, it seems like Harry Potter finally has some consistent direction.

Technically, the film is strong.  As with all of the others, the acting is very good and the effects are top notch.  The addition of Jim Broadbent was a really nice touch and he suited the role very well.  I would have like to have seen more of Robbie Coltrane but it would have probably distracted from the "Harry and Dumbledore" plot that was pretty important.  But what really stikes me after watching six of them is how well the film makers and Rowling have captured life in a boarding school.  I went to boarding school for three years and they are spot on.  There are cliques and awkward kids, superstars and every day joes, kids visiting late at night in dorm rooms and cacophony in the cafeteria.  But in this one, they do an awesome job of capturing the teen angst that comes with matters of the heart and seeing someone you want to spend time with enjoying someone else's company (something I experienced all too much in high school - but you're a blog reader, not my therapist so I won't dwell on that).  Let's just say that almost everything in all these movies that happens in the school is incredibly accurate when you strip away the magic.

See it.  Even though it can get a bit confusing and leaves you with questions, it is a fast paced movie with a really good story.  Next to Goblet of Fire, it is the best of the bunch so far.

No comments:

Post a Comment