Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Harry and the Half Book Movie

Here is the thing, I have never read a single "Harry Potter" book, although admittedly since getting stuck into the movies I have been tempted, but it makes me wonder who the movies are for. Now take "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", as I watched the movie I felt like it had been made for those who already knew the story who could fill in the gaps and who were passionate enough about the stories to remember things that someone like me would have forgotten. But then having read some opinions from fans of the books there is plenty of negativity towards this movie as they bemoan what is missed out and the focus on the teenage tribulations of the various relationships.

So I am now wondering whether there was something much deeper going on that maybe "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was made in such away as to cause those like me who haven't read the books to part with their money in order to get the whole story. But then I also wonder with the release of "Twilight" in 2008 and the success of that with the focus on the romance caused this "Harry Potter" movie to put too much emphasis on the teenage relationships side rather than on the mystery and danger of Voldemort.

Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Having said all of that from someone who hasn't read the books "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is still an entertaining movie as it continues to build on everything which had been set up in the previous movies but introducing more mystery. As such on one hand we have the continuing Voldemort storyline but we then get the mystery of who the Half-Blood Prince is as Harry sees his name in a text book he picks up. And alongside this we have more mystery surrounding Professor Severus Snape and what is going on as he fraternizes with Draco Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. It is the whole mystery side of the movie where for just a movie lover there are problems because it just feels like important parts were missed out in order to keep the running time down. And again it makes me wonder if like some of the previous movies "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" would have benefited from having two parts.

Now I mentioned that "Twilight" came out in the year before and to me it does appear to have had some influence because the relationships between various characters dominate "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". We have the continuation of Hermione coming to terms with the fact that she has feelings for Ron whilst Ron is too daft to notice and too shy to act on his own confusing feelings for her, leading to some typical Ron & Hermione type amusement. And on that subject it has to be said the Rupert Grint and Emma Watson make for an amusing but also sweet double act as Hermione keeps on telling Ron off. But we also get the simmering relationship as it is clear that Ginny is smitten with Harry which has a nice maturity to it although some terrible dialogue. All of which is nice, the whole teenage tribulations aspect of Harry Potter is a big part of its success but here it dominates the movie over the actual mystery and danger side.

Despite what I would say are issues in trying to condense what is obviously a big storyline into movie length the rest of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is as good as you would suspect. It is once again a feast for your eyes whilst delivering a wonderful mix of humour and what is close to horror and the creativity of J.K. Rowling's story is still very clear. Plus the casting is as good as ever with the introduction of the wonderful Jim Broadbent ideally cast as the slightly bumbling Professor Horace Slughorn.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is the exceptional production that we have come to expect I just feel that something must have been lost during its adaptation as it left me on occasion a bit lost.