Harry Potter 2009 Review




Only the most literalist Potter fans will not enjoy this film as it has it all: exquisite cinematography, a brilliant soundtrack, imaginative direction, and the very best acting from both the veterans and young guns we've seen so far in the series.

Some of the sets are breathtaking, in particular Weasley Wizard Wheezes. The film is hilarious throughout, Rupert Grint excelling with superb support from Jessie Cave, Freddie Stroma (as Cormac McClaggen) and Evanna Lynch. Bonnie Wright and Tom Felton are allowed to step out of their two-dimensional characters, Wright delivering sensuousness and strength and Felton giving an outstanding all-round performance.

The veterans pull out all the stops, with Michael Gambon excelling, becoming a truly charismatic and compelling presence by the end of the film, and of course, perfectly pitched performances from the likes of Bonham Carter (terrifyingly seductive), Jim Broadbent (funny and pathos-filled), and Alan Rickman (unreadably malevolent). Despite being on the screen for what seemed an instant, both David Thewlis and Helen McCrory convey their characters' respective desperation and edginess.

The film never lags because when you are not being gripped by visceral Quidditch or battle scenes you are laughing your head off at the comedy which ranges from broad and physical to witty and acute.

The film is all the more satisfying because there is a very strong sense of place, and the characters are three-dimensional, and utterly recognisable. And the film is truly multi-dimensional: it's a romcom, detective story, teen adventure-rites of passage, magical, scary-horror, political, and, above all, about love. All Rowling's stories are multi-layered but this is the first film to really capture the complexity and fun of the series.

You cannot wish for more from a film than it both stays in the mind, and, the first urge you have is to want to see it all over again. Half Blood Prince delivers on both counts, and more. Photobucket

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