Why break with tradition you know. That’s the feeling I had when I troop in to watch the sixth film in the Harry Potter series. I’ve seen all the rest already, why stop now? I was doing the film a disservice because Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is in my view turned out to be the best film in the series.
For starters, Harry Potter films usually starts with Harry going to Hogwarts, have his adventure and ends the year the same way as he started. Despite his adventures, Harry always starts the year with all the major players in play. Not this time. At the end of this film, some things will change. A betrayal and a death change things for the future.
That is just one of the reason why I think this is the best film in the series. The beginning of the Half-Blood Prince was good and it was a visual treat seeing the attacks on both the Muggle and Wizard worlds. The characters also grow with age and the film is suddenly more than all about Harry. This is especially true for Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). The film is also darker and grimmer than the films before it and director David Yates made a smart choice covering the film in blue and yellow. It gives the film a style that was sorely lacking in the previous films.
That’s not saying the film is perfect mind you. Some parts of the film didn’t mesh well. For a dark movie, the end when Harry, Ron and Hermione look at sunset was strangely uplifting. It was like they suddenly decided that they can’t end a movie like this and has to go search for a happy ending. It just didn’t suit the film at all. Also some parts of the plot were not explained. If Voldemort trust Snape so much, why did he give the assignment to Malfoy instead of Snape? I guess Snape is called the Half-Blood Prince because he was half Muggle; it’s a guess because it was never explained clearly in the film. Another thing is that the series of events make me think Severus Snape (Alan Rickman in excellent form again) might not be the villain he was made out to be, even after the finish. If this is the case, I’ll be sorely disappointed because it was too easy. It just seems too obvious to me.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good film which is clearly superior to the films that came before it. It’s not the greatest you’ll ever see but it is good and highly watchable.