Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Hogwarts Year Six

I consider Year 6 in Potter-Verse, The Half-Blood Prince, to be the calm before the storm.  Now, of course that is meaning that the death of one of the best characters in the whole franchise is the calm.

Plot Synopsis (There Be Spoilers):

We get introduced to a new teacher in the Half-Blood Prince right off the bat.  Prof Slughorn is crucial to the plot of the movie.  He is the new Potions Master because Snape has gotten his wish and he is now the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.  Slughorn is an interesting character to say the least.  He is the crux of the plot.  He is the key to the horcrux as a matter of fact, for we are introduced to the idea of the horcrux in this movie as well.  Horcruxes are the solution to the Voldemort problem.  In fact the horcruxes which are the magical items in which Voldemort has hidden shards of his soul are the point of the movie and the reason why Harry and Dumbledore are on the prowl through tunnels and why Dumbledore now has a disfigured hand in this movie.  Add to the plot Draco Malfoy being commissioned to kill Dumbledore and the continuing romantic relationship between Ron and Hermione and you have a movie with as many twists and turns as you can pack into two hours.  Of course in the end, Dumbledore is dead, the school and the ministry are in a shambles and Harry has decided that Year 6 will be his last year at school.

The Good

Jim Broadbent – Prof Slughorn – Talk about taking a character and making it work.  SLughorn is the turning point of the book and pretty much of the series.  He is the one that provides the background for the horcruxes and Broadbent brings the right amount of sleaziness and panache to the role that is needed to make the role work, to make you believe that he is the teacher that taught Tom Riddle how to make a horcrux.  You see they had to have someone that could convey the need for powerful connections that Slughorn had, with the power that Riddle/Voldemort was gaining and then the fact that he had to cover it up.  Great acting by a truly wonderful actor.

I taught the whole Black family, except Sirius, it’s a shame. I got Regulus when he came around of course, but I would have liked the set.

Helena Bonham Carter – Bellatrix Lestrange – She is one weird chick.  But, you have to say one thing for Carter, she place crazy really, really well.  We have seen her in a couple of movies now and she is just perfect in this role.  Having been a bit mad to begin with, Bellatrix has been driven around the bend by her stint in Azkaban Prison.  Helena Bonham Carter takes the needed level of crazy to a level of crazy not known to most actors or actresses.

Well look what we have here. Dumbledore wandless, alone and cornered in his own castle! Well done, Draco!

Tom Felton – Draco Malfoy – Mr Felton has been very good throughout the run of the movies.  In this flick though, he sells the role when he meets Dumbledore on the tower.  The emotion and the passion that he puts into the scene is perfect.  He becomes the character that we read about in the books.

I don’t need your help! Don’t you understand? I have to do this! I have to kill you… or he’s gonna kill me!

The Bad

Romance – The romantic scenes between Harry and Ginny are a little awkward, they are a little forced and quiet frankly they seem to last a little too long.  I think they were trying to set a lighter mood at some points in the movie so that Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 could feel even darker.

The Ugly

Harry on Top of the Tower – In the book, Harry is hidden under his invisibility cloak and he has been petrified.  He is unable to move and hidden from everyone that come onto the tower.  In the movie, Dumbledore sends him away and he just goes and stands there, below the top of the tower.  Harry has never followed a rule or a command at the school but we are supposed to believe that he would just go stand down below the tower and listen to Dumbledore die… OK…

Except for the change in the scene at the top of the tower this is one of the better movies.  I dig the fact that we are learning ever more about the history of Voldemort and the state of the wizarding world.   I like the characters and I love the character growth of Malfoy.  Next we move in to the two parter that is The Deathly Hallows.