Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Books and their movie adaptations should never be compared. Sure, there are elements in a written piece that will never translate well into the big screen. That is where you allow the director and the screenwriter the liberties to tweak it a bit. NB: a bit. But to completely lose the point of the story while transitioning it into film is inexcusable. It's like turning Watchmen, a highly acclaimed graphic novel, into a superhero movie.

As a hardcore fan of the Harry Potter series, there's nothing more annoying than to see your favorite book turned into a Rom Com.

Let's forget the fact that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HBP) is about Voldemort; that it's a preparation book, if you may, for Deathly Hallows (DD). Let's forget that the flashbacks to Voldemort's childhood, The Gaunts, Tom Riddle, and all those parallelisms between Harry's life and Voldemort's will make Harry doubt his being "The One" in DD.

No, let's forget that.

It's all about Yates' vision of not focusing on Voldemort's rise to power. Seriously Yates. Did you even read the book? The point of HBP IS to prepare readers for DD. Voldemort's rise to power has already been established in Order of the Phoenix. Remember the Ministry of Magic encounter? Yeah. You directed that one, right? You even made the opening scene of HBP about the throngs of photographers flocking Harry and taking pictures of his just-PWNED Voldie's-ass face. So if you say Voldemort hasn't already made himself clear that "Sup, bitches. Here's Voldie!", then what's the point of all those theatrics?

Let's forget that HBP IS Snape. That the purpose of the Occlumency lessons Harry was supposed to have is for him to see how it was to be Snape; to have a glimpse of Snape's memories; to have an understanding why Snape hates him that much; to see how James, Sirius, and Lupin treated Snape so bad, which in turn, will make Harry doubt what people mean when they say "You're just like your father".

But where are the Occlumency lessons? Nada. It was all confounded by those scenes about those blasted teenagers' raging hormones.

ETA: The Occlumency lessons were nowhere to be found because it happened in Order of the Phoenix and not in HBP. Review fail!

But to redeem myself, what about The Seer Overheard and the one who heard the prophecy? Doesn't that matter? Another point missed in this movie, aside from it being supposed to be Snape-centric because who wants to watch a movie about Snape when there are adolescent (and not so adolescent) girls dropping their panties off for Daniel Radcliffe, who I suspect will grow up gay, and adolescent (and not so adolescent) guys OGC-ing to Emma Watson, is that it's supposed to plant the seed of doubt on Snape's loyalty. He was acting as a double agent, for Merlin's saggy Y-pants! If he was the one who heard about the prophecy, could he be the one who ratted out to Voldie? Could he be the one who outted the Potters?

No let's forget that.

In Operating Room's words

HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. Way to not build that up. Snape was just all, "SUP IT WAS ME. LOL."

The only saving grace of this movie for me was the comic relief, Luna, the Trio took acting lessons, Quidditch is back, bad-ass pyromaniac Dumbledore, and the dialogue is somewhat better (even too Hollywood maybe. The dry British humor, where is it?). Cinematography was bleargh (hello, compared to Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban, HBP is nothing!) and the scoring is nothing remarkable.

I don't want to go down the Girl-Who-Rewrote-DD route, but HBP has so much potential. But what did Yates et al. focused on? The love story. The effin-love story. Could have been great if the girl they chose to play Ginny Weasley can remotely act, but no.

Honestly, I feel insulted. I left the theaters feeling a bit annoyed and disappointed. All my wasted excitement for nothing.

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