Book v Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

With the final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise coming out, we thought it would be fun to revisit the phenomenon with a special edition series of Harry Potter Book v Movie columns.

half-blood prince

Name of Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

By: J. K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Copyright Date: US Edition July 2005

Number of Pages: 672

Format: fiction

Reason for Reading: It’s Harry Potter, do we need a reason?

Rating: A+

 

hp6 movieName of Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Director: David Yates

Release Date:  July 15, 2009 (USA)

Running Time: 153

IMDB Linkage: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417741/

Rating: I am wavering between a C+ and a B- because the pacing was sooo slow but the end scenes were so well-acted!!!

THE BOOK:

In book six, the wizarding world has finally wised up to the fact that Lord Voldemort has indeed returned. The tone is more ominous and the danger level has increased dramatically. Harry is taking special lessons with Dumbledore to learn more about Voldemort’s past in order to gain insight into how to ultimately defeat him. In addition to navigating danger and school, our trio is finally experiencing the first pangs of love.

This book is one of my favorites. I love it for the fact that we delve into Voldemort’s past. I really like flashbacks and gaining insight into characters, especially evil ones. The tone of this book is a lot darker and a lot scarier what with Snape making an Unbreakable Vow and Malfoy assigned a dangerous unknown task. I did like the introduction of love. I thought it lent humor, therefore, lightening up the tone, not to mention realistic for the age our trio has reached. This book really builds up to the climax that awaits us in book seven. The end is heartbreaking and unsettling. Rowling doesn’t hold back and lets us know she means business. I appreciate that quality as sad I felt because casualties happen in war, and not just to the minor characters. In this respect Rowling reminds me a bit of Joss Whedon.

THE MOVIE:

When it first came out I went to the midnight showing. I think my love for this installment blinded me on the first viewing. I vaguely remember people expressing disappointment in this film but I initially loved it. By the time I re-watched it yesterday, I couldn’t remember anything specific about it except that I liked it.

However, on a second viewing, I am a bit more objective. The film definitely captures the dark and scary feel of the book.  As always the casting is superb. Jim Broadbent is impeccable as Slughorn. Evanna Lynch is sublime as Luna. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and Frank Dillane as the young Tom Riddle (age eleven and sixteen, respectively) are downright sinister. Tom Felton as Malfoy has really grown and does justice to the development of Malfoy’s predicament. I also have to mention that Alan Rickman in that final moment with Dumbledore just nails it. His expression, knowing what we know after having finished book seven, is absolutely perfect. Michael Gambon completely embodied Dumbledore in this installment. The scene I was most curious about was at the fountain, but he was the Dumbledore described in the book and the one I imagined whilst reading. The final scene with Snape was devastating.

I do have to say that the pacing was quite slow! I don’t know if they thought because it was so scary and serious they had to slow it down, but I thought it took away from the heightened sense of danger. The scene at the burrow was the most fast-paced and it worked! Why they couldn’t have increased the pacing is beyond me. Also, I understand they have to condense things and sometimes they add things that weren’t in the book, but the liberties taken with book six felt somewhat egregious. Perhaps, I only feel this way because I watched it so soon after re-reading it. Nonetheless, it irritated more in this installment than any of the previous ones. It really irked me that Dumbledore didn’t stun movie Harry. Also, the kiss between Harry and Ginny? Very anti-climactic and kinda lame. The book kiss was so much better.

 THE VERDICT: The book!!! Was there ever any doubt? On my first viewing I loved this movie and could see no wrong in it. However, on a second viewing I had more criticisms.  It was still worth watching, and I’ll definitely watch it again in the future (when I get the ultimate editions hehe). But I have to say that it was a weak job overall compared to the awesomeness and momentum built in book six.

 

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10 Responses to Book v Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  1. Heather says:

    I would have to say that movie six is the worst so far. They took out too many awesome things from the book and reworked things that just didn’t need reworking. Oh well. I completely agree about the kiss between Ginny and Harry. I just don’t see or feel a lot of chemistry between the two; they really do feel more like brother and sister. But what can ya do about that….Great reviews and comparison!

    • jehara says:

      In the book the chemistry was there. In the movie there was the small moment at the Burrow during the holidays. The book kiss was sufficiently built up to and I felt rewarded as a reader. I felt gypped in the movie.

  2. jennygirl says:

    I so throughly disliked movie 6 that I swore I would not see Part 1 of 7. But my hubby convinced me otherwise and I saw it last week and it was fantastic. This is what I like to see in my movies. Great acting, and it’s not always about the big scenes and special effects. Lovely post 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    • jehara says:

      I thought the acting in movie six was well done but I couldn’t get past the pacing. It did have some good moments though. However, movie 7, part 1 was back to form. I’m glad you didn’t let the disappointment of six keep you from enjoying seven. 🙂

  3. When Izzybella and I saw the movie at midnight (of course), I just really loved it. I’m with you, in thinking the kiss between Harry and Ginny was soooooo much better in the book, but at the same time I thought it was sweet. Lavender was awesome! I loved the bit with her glaring across the house tables at Ron and Hermione. I also liked how they set up the conflict in Ron about the relationship between Harry and Hermione in the very last scene, with Hermione and Harry in the foreground, looking out across the landscape, with Ron a few steps behind them, in the middle.

    One brave soul in the theatre had come armed with a lighted wand, and in the scene where the staff and students raise their wands to the heavens after Dumbledore died, his/her wand was raised in salute, despite the rude giggling by the audience. I thought that was cool.

    The casting continued to be fantastic, and you can really see how the kids have grown in their craft over the years, particularly when you compare them with the first couple of movies.

    All that being said, of course, I still loved the book far, far more.

    • jehara says:

      Those were some great moments with Lavender. She was really funny. There were a lot of great moments in the movie. I just was a little grumpy at some of the changes, and as I’ve already mentioned, I couldn’t get over how slow it was. B was watching it with me a bit and he eventually got up and left the room. It was way too slow for his tastes. It’s almost like the movie-makers thought they needed to be overly serious to portray the mounting danger and momentum of the book. Whatever they tried to do, it didn’t translate very well.

  4. Staci says:

    I just re-read 1 and 2 today…and so this is a timely post for me. I want to watch the movies again and see what I think about them. I have yet to watch the 6th movie!!

  5. kaye says:

    my least favorite of the books–I’ve never forgiven JK for Dumbledore :/

  6. Janet says:

    This is my favorite book of the series, as it was kind of all about Snape. However, the movie? Not so much.

    • jehara says:

      It is one of my favorites too, along with Goblet of Fire. I was totally blind when I first saw the movie, however, on a second viewing I was startled to find I didn’t like it so much. It was a real letdown.

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