Monday, 20 July 2009

Half-baked 'blood'

WHILE I can't say I truly detest the film, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, I will not really praise it either. And although many reviews have been positive, I can't say I'll be joining them.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you do understand what I mean with this post's title, and read on what I have to say.

For a movie I had been itching to watch for months, 'Half-blood Prince' just doesn't meet its purposes, story-wise. I guess it's due to the fact that they wrote the script as a compromise between die-hard book fans and the regular movie-watchers. With about as much as 80-percent of the original storyline chucked out of the window to fit the 150-ish minutes of screen time, and hordes of scenes suddenly (and magically) inserted, HBP is almost a new universe, if not an alternate reality, to the Potter world.

Alright, I'm being too harsh, I know. But hey, I went to cinema hoping to see "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince" the movie. Instead, I was treated to "The prelude to the 2-part movie that will follow". C'mon now, HP and the HBP is a great book in its own right, but why sacrifice the whole film?

Sure the movie's elements are good; superb special effects and stunning graphics coupled with nice cinematography and moving musical scores worthy of the Potter movie series and fandom make up the film. But in between the awesome scenes, particularly in those dull moments, the viewer is left to think, "Lolwut?"

I confess my hearing isn't too well, but I'd contest it isn't too bad either. I swear I never let my eyes leave the screen longer than it took to blink (or check if my wallet's still in my pocket), but I just got lost in translation. Many portions of the story are so muddy I won't have known what's happening had I not read the book several years ago.

And that, in my honest opinion, is where the movie fails big time. They seem to attempt to please us die-hard book fans, and not leave the non-book readers alienated by the story at the same time; but I dare say they didn't meet both targets.

A great matter to note is the identity of the HBP - a very intriguing subject as one sifts through the pages of the book. Really, the movie should've been about him, yet he just said, "I am the HBP," in the end without fanfare. No grandiose explanations. No emotions. Nonsense.

However, one cannot ignore the fact that the 150-ish minutes of screening time are engaging. And although there are several dead scenes - thankfully appearing only for brief moments - the good ones manage to make up for them. In fact, I really applaud everything about the film save the storyline; various emotions and themes are carefully brought together using exactly the best devices to achieve the cinematography I save up movie-ticket-prices for. Yeah, I hate much of the story, but I don't think I wasted my time and money for it.

So all aspects taken into consideration, and with as much objectivity as I can muster, I bestow my rating for the movie that is, "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince". Drumrolls please.

*Insert sound effects here*

I give it: 8.5/10

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