“Half-Blood Prince” worth the wait

When it was announced last fall that the film release of the sixth installment of the mega successful Harry Potter series would be pushed back from November to July, muggles all over the country were not too thrilled. It has certainly been a long wait, but Harry’s spell continues to work its magic. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is a gripping and visually stunning film and has already met success by taking in $22 million domestically from midnight showings on its July 15 release.

Arguably the best in the series so far, what is most unexpected is that “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” delivers some major comic relief that has been missing from the previous installments. Romance plays a huge role in this film as most of the main characters are either meeting their first love or discovering ones that have been there all along. Devoted fans will rejoice at the budding romance between Ron and Hermoine, which is finally starting to show signs of life. Rupert Grint is in top comedic form, as always, as Harry’s goofy pal, Ron, and it’s obvious in this film that Daniel Radcliffe feels more comfortable portraying the boy wizard. With each film, Radcliffe improves, but he truly shines in this film. Radcliffe, Grint and Emma Watson have spent almost half of their lives in their characters’ shoes and with each new film, the actors as well as the characters, have grown. Jim Broadbent as the usually tipsy Professor Horace Slughorn is a great addition to the film. The cinematography is dark and frighteningly beautiful. Director David Yates, who is also on board to direct the final film in the series, does a spectacular job his second time around after helming the fifth installment, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Yates was widely considered an odd choice after his resume consisted of mainly television shows. However, he hushed the underestimating critics with the last film and he has solidified his talent with this one. The movie’s gloomy, foreboding tone makes it difficult to remember the earlier and lighter days of the franchise’s earlier films. The opening scene where the evil Death Eaters create havoc among unsuspecting London muggles is beautifully shot and intense. The film successfully keeps you in suspense even if you’ve read the book. Scenes of Lord Voldemort’s disturbing past and short clips of Draco Malfoy mysteriously tampering with a cabinet keep you glued in your seat. Die-hard fans will undoubtedly find some faults with Harry’s latest outing, but not as much as any of the other films. True fans know going into every Harry Potter movie that the film will never exactly match the book, and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is no exception. While this film is incredibly enjoyable, there was still too much emphasis placed on the budding romances between the characters. While it was fun to watch the hormones fly amongst these characters we’ve practically grown up with, it would have been better if the relationships were slightly downplayed. Even the mystery and allure behind the titular Half-Blood Prince character is greatly sacrificed. It is disappointing that so many great moments from the book never made it into the film. It’s been a long eight months since the original release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” but fans will leave the theater more than satisfied. Getting past the slight changes and surprising additions might be a little tough for some fans, but the film does offer solid acting and breathtaking visuals. Even if fans wind up feeling a bit disappointed in the end, this film will definitely pump them up for the final two installments. It wouldn’t be surprising if fans were more upset over the release date of the seventh film than this film’s inaccuracies. Dana Cassidy can be reached at dana.cassidy@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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