A Completely Gratuitous Harry Potter Review

If you are any kind of Harry Potter fan at all, you have probably already seen the sixth installment of the film series, and I probably don’t even have to say this: *Spoiler Alert*.

DearDR and I finally went to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Saturday night. (Much thanks to my MIL and SIL, and the impromptu and, I’m sure, rowdy sleep over that ensued at my MIL’s that evening.) My thoughts about it have been percolating in my allergy-ridden head since. The movie is clearly occupying brain cells formerly taken up with Lost theories.

What I Didn’t Like:

That Useless Scene: You know the one I am talking about. Why send the Death Eaters to set the Weasley’s house on fire and have Ginny and Harry running around in tall grass? I have no idea how this scene figures into moving the Harry Potter film stories forward. Seemed utterly pointless to me.

The Memories: Not enough memories of Tom Riddle were shown in the movie. Not enough exposition of what the memories mean to what becomes Harry’s quest in the last book. The oversight is going to have a huge impact on how they decide to write the last two films. Somehow or another, they are going to have to get Harry the information regarding what Voldemort’s Horcruxes are. Look for a raid on the headmaster’s office early in the next movie.

Hiding the Book: The whole scene where Ginny went with Harry to hide his potions book was pathetic. Hated it. Well, except for the kiss. The kiss was very sweet. But the kiss in the book was way better.

Totally Petty Thing that No One Else is Having a Problem with: Ginny is taller than Harry in the movies. This is very distracting to me as a tall girl who could never date a guy the same height as me, let alone someone shorter. Totally irrelevant to everything and besides the point, but I notice it. Wish I didn’t.

What I Liked:

The Laughs: I think this is by far the funniest (and yet the darkest) of the movies to date. At the expense of the characters, of course, and their romantic whimsies. Rupert Grint is hysterical as the confused romantic object of girls’ affection. Cormac McLaggen’s aggressive pursuit of Hermione was laugh-out-loud funny; for a brain, Herimone certainly catches the attentions of some major jocks (remember Krum?). On the other hand, watching Herimone and Harry struggle with their jealousy makes me remember that I never, ever want to be a teen again.

Malfoy’s Story: I think the writer and director made a brilliant choice of how to portray Draco Malfoy’s role in this book. Instead of Harry’s obsession with Malfoy and the long-winded explanation we get at the end of the book, we get a minimalist treatment of Malfoy’s plan and execution of it. Just spot-on. (Another irrelevant aside: Tom Felton is a hottie.)

James Broadbent as Horace Slughorn: I really enjoyed Broadbent’s turn in the film. Much less blather than in the book. He made Slughorn, to my mind, a more sympathic character. Probably something to do with that hangdog expression he wears.

What I Missed Most:

The battle at the end between DA members and Death Eaters. If they had cut that Useless Scene out, they could have put this in instead.

Overall, I completely loved the movie, though. David Yates and company capture the encroaching darkness of the book so well. It hits (almost all) the important points. The next two films cannot come along quickly enough for me.

Note to my husband with whom I love to see movies: Please start reading these books. Tonight. Instead of an hour of classic NHL games and WWII documentaries on cable, crack open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Because if you keep asking me questions about how the movies are different from the book, I’m going to see the last two movies without you. I have read (and reread, and enjoyed) the LOTR books and films with you. Harry Potter is my LOTR. Get cracking. Yer ever lovin’ wife, rpm