Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Mrs. Snave and I went to the local theater to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" on Monday. As devotees of the Potter books and films, we went with great anticipation. After all, this is Cinematic Installment #6 of the seven-part series. We were not disappointed!
As usual, the movie version did a pretty good job of cramming multiple hundreds of pages of intricate, nearly-OCD-level detail into about 2 1/2 hours of film. (If any of you have read all the books, have you also noticed this about the movies?) It wasn't quite as monumental as cramming so many of the J.R.R. Tolkien details into the "Lord of the Rings" films, but Mrs. Snave and I agreed that Potter author J.K. Rowling represents a sort of modern Tolkien. It's no mean feat to streamline such stories to this extent, and to keep plotlines comprehensible.
The special effects were great, the cinematography was impeccable. Shadows, dark, light, fire, explosions, it's all there in "Half-Blood Prince".
What really seemed to jump out at us this time around were the individual performances. Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore and Alan Rickman as Severus Snape can always be counted on to give good performances. But the maturity of the young actors portraying Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) struck us both. These young people all look to have promising futures in the movie business. They get better with age, and are now capable of imparting some very nice emotional depth to their characters.
I think this might be my favorite movie of all the Potter films thus far.
Mrs. Snave and I are looking forward not only to the final installment of the Potter series, but also to what these young actors and actresses go on to do from here.
If you are a Potter fan and haven't seen the movie yet, please do so. If you are not a Potter fan, you might consider giving it a try, regardless of dire warnings puritans may give you re. the magic, wizardry, etc. The stories are all about the triumph of good over evil, about the importance of friendship, and about empathy and fair play. What's wrong with any of that? It's good for adults as well as kids!