Friday, July 17, 2009


By Reymundo Salao

Originally, I am not a Harry Potter fanatic; I really was not impressed by the Harry Potter movies initially, and have at many times dismissed the Potter movies as unoriginal and mere recycle of old ideas. It was not until the third movie Prisoner of Azkhaban where I thought the series was not so bad, but it is actually in the fourth movie, Goblet of Fire, when I really became a follower of this film series. No, I have not read the books, I guess I’m just too lazy to go get them, and go “Oh I’ll just wait for the movie, they’re making one anyway” Hahaha Well, I bet that statement would have diehard Potter fans (or as I would call them “Potterheads”) frown. In that same issue, I have noticed that it is really not easy to please these Potterheads. As a result, I have concluded that it really is, in my opinion, good that I have not read the books, otherwise, I could possibly find myself not enjoying these movie adaptations and go on to demand a 10-hour page-by-page movie adaptation of the books.

In this new movie, HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, the world of the wizards have gradually been falling into dark times, what with the Death Eaters gathering strength by numbers and the fearful return of the Dark Lord Voldemort. These dark forces are gaining momentum and we see how recklessly strong they’ve become when they even cross the line as they destroy a bridge in the world of the normal people (the world of muggles? Am I getting the term right?). Harry Potter digs deep into the memories of one of the teachers and must find out the secrets of the past, in order to stop the Dark Lord’s return.

I really enjoyed the movie because it has become more about the characters rather than the effects and the magic. Our main characters at this point are already at their teens and the storyline is heavily filled with a well-made, comedic teen drama. In this movie we see the main characters deal with the awkwardness, the romance, and the friendships experienced in teen life. The subplot of the romance aspect was very interesting because it was more focused on how clumsy these kids are when dealing with love, rather than focus on the corny and cheesy aspects of romance (like the corny Twilight movie). Unlike the teen dramas Hollywood makes, like those filled with blatant sex, drugs, and product endorsements, the teen flick aspect of H.Potter 6 is refreshingly more innocent and naïve by comparison. It deals with real teen angst, not just some random meaningless garbage that they put in MTV.

On the other hand, while the lighter, comedy part of the story is going on; the darker tones of the movie are in motion as well. The movie interplays with both the lighter aspects and the darker tones of the story in an excellently-executed balance. The sequences where we see the darker events mixes well with the lighter parts of the movie, primarily with the aid of a praiseworthy editing team

The movie really is a bit of everything. You have this fantasy in the magical world aspect which has always been the main theme of all Potter movies, you also have this charming “teen movie” aspect of the movie, there’s also this part of the movie where Potter is on a mission in trying to get one of the professors to reveal a secret, and then there is also this eerie story of darkness, where the forces of evil are gathering, preparing for a revolution, while the character of Draco Malfoy is wandering deeper into his own darkness as he seems to prove to himself that he is no longer a kid.

Speaking of Malfoy, Tom Felton shines in this movie as he shows us the moral and emotional conflict deep inside of him, the main cast, as always, have been brilliant. Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe, it is undeniable that over the years of playing these characters, their acting has been unquestionably excellent. Emma Watson was quite effective in creating the emotional impact of how she exhibits her love for Ron, inasmuch as I usually hate corny teen love stories, her acting suckered me into giving a damn what happens to the romantic subplot of the movie.

I should warn some people about this movie. This is actually a movie that feels like it is a fragment of a bigger longer movie, specifically, it is a set-up for a bigger sequel. It may not liked by regular audiences because it does not have enough visual fantasy generally expected from a Harry Potter movie. Although there are moments of awe and magic, it is not as plenty as it is in previous movies. Even the ending of the movie was a quiet one. Despite of the dramatic twists, the ending does not come out with a bang. This is a character-driven movie, if you like that sort of thing, then this movie is something you will adore, but if you’re just there to see some magic without much regard for the characters or the general storyline of the whole series, I think you may walk out of this movie disappointed. As far as I am concerned though, I loved this movie, and I cannot believe that this movie thrilled me as much as I was thrilled with Star Trek. I am really glad this movie washed off the stench in my mouth left by Transformers 2. This really is a movie that deserves the full price of admission. Thumbs up all the way.

1 comment:

Skron said...

There's like 3 reviews of the Half-Blood prince on my blogroll. That's four Including mine. LOL.

But I was really disappointed with the film. Order of the Phoenix was my favorite film. I thought, after what happened to Sirius, Harry will be Avada Kedavra-ing every living thing.

Then the back stories and plot was also weak. I guess you won't really see them in full fruition until the next film. That's why it really feels boring.