Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Perhaps my judgment is biased; not only had I now just come from seeing the movie moments ago, still glowing with the after effect of excitement, but from the age of seven I had been an avid Harry Potter fan, and utterly anticipated Half Blood Prince. After all, we now truly begin to feel the effects of Voldemort's return.

It is evident that the Wizarding world is falling into pieces. It becomes harder and harder for the, shall we say, good guys to stop the Death Eaters from effecting their lives; rather, they have such a weak grasp on the evil wrist that dangerous actions are beginning to leak into the Muggle world.

Director David Yates manages to masterfully capture this panic and distress even in the midst of blossoming romance. Not only is the relationship between Harry and Ginny growing into something more, but Ron gets his own triangle, between both clingy, lovesick Lavender Brown (Wan wan!) and Hermione Granger, seething jealously in the background, growing ever sicker at Lavender's crazed adoration.

Tender moments are cut short easily and pushed aside for serious matters; while spending holiday at the burrow, Harry and Ginny and abruptly torn from their own sweet privacy when the Death Eaters pay a visit. The scene itself was not included in the book, but was rather fitting for the movie. Instead of hearing about attacks from Death Eaters, Harry, along with the audience, now experiences one themselves.

Pardon me. My mind is currently racing with memories of the movie, and I feel it nearly impossible to properly focus on one part. Draco's scenes, in particular, stand out the most. Tom Felton has quite obviously grown from his last big scenes, both physically and acting-wise. The viewer feels both kinship and hatred towards him; being a Death Eater is essentially in Draco's blood, and he accepts this. And yet, the reality of the situation sinks in to him. He's sixteen years old. As I write this now, my own sixteenth birthday arrives in a few short months. His angst is understandable when the situation is properly viewed. Draco has been handpicked by the Voldemort himself to carry out a task that is deemed to be a stabbing blow to the Wizarding world. The future of the Wizarding world rests on his shoulders.

The task itself, for spoiler reasons, cannot be revealed, but while Draco is fighting his inner battle, Severus Snape has agreed with Draco's mother to pose as Draco's guardian. The unbreakable vow was formed; Snape is to make sure Draco is kept in good hands, and if Draco is unable to carry out the task, Snape must do so himself.

Snape. Ah, Snape. He is a character of pure infamy, whether it be Alan Rickman's velvety British voice, or JK Rowling's morally ambiguous character writing. Despite Snape's ties to the Dark Lord, we are not unaware of the underlying twist that may be present; namely, Snapes allegiances. As the book series has ended, most avid Potter fans have already learned of where his allegiances lie, but for the sake of review writing, it is a spoiler I am not able to say. Consider it something of my own unbreakable vow.

The darkest of themes within the movie may not even lie within Draco's task. Rather, the most chilling scene I saw was the collecting of the locket, which is supposed to be a horcrux. A horcrux is an object containing a piece of the performer's soul. In Voldemort's case, he issued seven. The locket was found in a cliffside, guarded by a basin of debilitating fluid that must be drunk in order to reach the locket. Dumbledore, although noticeably weakened, commanded Harry to force him to drink the vile liquid, growing sicker and sicker, shaking in pain and agony. Despite Harry's distress over seeing Dumbledore in this state, he abides to Dumbledore's wishes and helps him down the entire basin.

Once the basin was painstakingly drained, I was not the only person sitting in the theater who gasped at the sight of a gruesome hand emerging from the surrounding lake and grabbing Harry's wrist. The inferi, zombie-like creatures bent on dragging the trespassers to the bottom of the water, loped towards Harry and Dumbledore in a scene where you find yourself wondering how this was possibly deemed as a PG movie.

Despite these dark scenes, small, essential and pleasant details were still included, respectively, although altered to fit time constraints. For example, Lupin rejecting Tonks' romance. In the movie, they are portrayed as a couple rather than muddling on the risk of exposing Tonks to that extent to Lupin, a werewolf. Other tidbits, such as Luna's antics, from her lion hat to handing out copies of the Quibbler, Hermione attacking Ron with canaries, and Ron's loopy, lovesick experience with chocolates especially sent by Romilda Vane, were added tastefully, and viewers were pleasantly surprised by the added essentials.

One thing many fans were very skeptical of, were rumors of a certain character's funeral being cut from the movie. Yes, the official funeral itself, as JK Rowling wrote it, was not included in the movie. However, students and staff gathered as howling wolves after his fatal descent from a tower, a scene just as moving and powerful.

During this scene, Professor McGonagall raised her wand and directed a beam of light to burst within the Dark Mark that the Death Eaters had left hovering over Hogwarts. Her action spoke louder than any script could: within darkness, light will emerge, stronger and more overpowering than the darkness initially was.

The movie is ended with this looming feeling, as Harry Potter gazes at the Hogwarts landscape. His journey's time is fleeting, and this year is the last he will be properly attending Hogwarts. The viewer feels a pang withint their own heart as well, remembering a fresh-faced Harry arriving to Hogwarts and discovering its wondrous secrets. Now, life has grown far more ominous, Harry himself hardened and prepared for the unthinkable.

It's hard to consider how much the movies have changed. I can remember being seven years old and wriggling in my seat while Fluffy the three-headed dog drooled on Ron's shoulder, only to be followed by a scream in unison from the story's leading trio. Now they've grown up, and leading themselves into a bloody battle between evil and good, between the strive for power and the strive for love.

All that's left now is the end.

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