I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday evening and thought it was the best Harry Potter movie so far. I was impressed by the cinematography which did much to convey the overall darkness of the film which, after all, was portraying dark times. It had an almost monochrome quality to it and it may have been more effective in black & white artistically but probably not commercially.
The characters have matured significantly. Harry is more confident and seems to be wiser than one would expect for a 16-year-old. His demeanor is appropriately darker considering what he’s been through in his young life. The characters of Hermoine and Ron have also matured and become more serious. I think the film portrayed the developing relationships between the main characters very well, making good use of humor to break up the overall darkness of the film.
The special effects were well done but not overdone or flashy. Each had an integral part in the story. I was particularly impressed by the fire conjured up by Dumbledore in the cave.
It was a long film, nearly three hours (153 minutes) but it didn’t drag on. If it had been longer to include more from the book, I still would have sat through it. I was disappointed that a few things were left out such as the battle between The Order of the Pheonix and the Deatheaters. I would have liked the funeral scene to have been included although the wand rendition of the “cigarette lighter tribute” was touching.
One little detail at the end bothered me. In one of the final scenes, Harry was in the headmaster’s office’s holding Dumbledore’s wand. That wand plays a key role in the final episode which is probably why it was in that scene although, in the book, it was elsewhere.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was, in my opinion, the best of the series so far and I’m looking forward to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I think that it will be a challenge to pack in all the action and all the supporting subplots. Hopefully, they can pull it off.