Directed by David Yates and based on the sixth book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) enter their sixth year at Hogwarts, as both the muggle and wizarding world are under Voldemort’s tightening grip. Meanwhile, Dumbledore enlists the aid of resourceful yet unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) as we learn more about the dark past of the boy who grew up to become Lord Voldemort. Does Slughorn hold the key to their enemy’s Achilles’ heel?
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book and my comparison of the film to the book soon.
As a book, this is the one that stuck out the most for me and I think Yates does a brilliant job of directing the adaptation which remains one of my favourites in the franchise, too. As with the final two films, there is a lot left out from the story compared to the books to consider it a decent adaptation, but it still works really well as a stand-alone film.
Things are definitely getting serious and relationships are about to be tested as this instalment deals with emotional issues on a much stronger level than any of the previous instalments. With teenage hormones causing the students to lose focus on their true missions, allowing us to engage with them on a deeper level and setting up their relationships for the bigger conflicts that they are about to be faced with.
This instalment also has some of the most powerful and emotional scenes yet as it takes us outside the walls of Hogwarts and into the dark realm of the Deathly Hallows, as Dumbeldore finally enlists in the help of Harry and provide him with some insight into what’s really going on. The cave scene is one of my favourites in the whole franchise, with Michael Gambon giving his best performance yet.
All of the performances step up a gear in this instalment as we begin to see a different side to many of the characters now that it’s about more than just what’s going on at Hogwarts. The young cast definitely mature in this film, but it’s all about Alan Rickman, for me, who does a brilliant job to develop his character and the audiences’ opinion of him, ready for the revelations in the next two films.