So I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince…
When I started this Potter marathon, I thought that Chamber of Secrets was my favourite (and the best) Potter film but after watching this movie, that’s changed. That’s the appeal of watching movies over and over again. You notice things you didn’t before and as time goes on, I’m sure I’ll have a new favourite but for the time being, Half-Blood Prince has top spot.
Okay, basic plot: Dumbledore enlists Harry’s help to assist him find out the secret to Voldemort’s apparent immortality. This involves retrieving a memory from one of Voldemort’s old professors at Hogwarts. While all of this is happening Hermione is dealing with her feelings for Ron and wishing Ron would notice her. This shows just how unrealistic these movies are because there’s no way a teenage boy isn’t in love with Emma Watson. Hell, there’s no way any living human isn’t in love with Emma Watson. Seriously, get your sh*t together, Ron.
I think the thing I love most about this movie is that there’s no Voldemort. There’s still references to him and he has a plan to kill Dumbledore but we never actually see him. The mystery is back and that’s one of the characters most frightening and entertaining traits. He’s the dark hand pulling the strings and that’s the position I think he’s best suited in. I also really liked Michael Gambon’s performance in this movie. I’ve been pretty outspoken about my disdain for his version of Dumbledore but in this movie he reigns in his eccentric energy and gives a performance much closer to the composure and eminence you’d expect from such a character.
There’s also a great sense of balance in this film. Voldemort is scheming and putting his plans for world domination into place but the movie doesn’t just focus on this; we get to see Harry, Ron and Hermione dealing with normal teenage issues which was a factor I missed in the last two movies. Voldemort’s plan and these teenage issues flow into each and both advance the plot and get equal screentime.
There’s been a very dark tone to these movies for a while and this movie is probably the darkest. There’s a major character death, characters go bad, Harry realises that his time at Hogwarts is over and he needs to focus on defeating Voldemort, there’s a lot of great progession. I’m also really glad that Snape got to be a bigger part of the story than he has being. Since his first scene in Philosopher’s Stone, I’ve really loved the character or rather loved to hate him. He’s always been stuck in side-character obscurity but from the last movie, he’s really become a main character and his motivations become much clearer. Alan Rickman deserves so much praise for bringing this character to life.
Overall, this movie is probably the most mature of the franchise. Our heroes grow up both in terms of adolescence but also in their role in fighting Voldemort. A great film 9/10