Let’s face it, the Harry Potter films have never really lived up to the expectations of the majority of fans. From the beginning it was pretty obvious the fantasy we had spent years creating in our heads was not about to be relived on the big screen. Yet, it was always mildly bearable, a fairly pleasurable cinematic experience which did not end with riotous demands for a refund. Until now, that is. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was poorly acted, overly long and distinctly un-magical for a film based on arguably the most imaginative and exciting novels of our generation.

The adult actors are so well established in their professions (and for good reason) that it shows up their younger counterparts. Unfortunately they are unable to keep up with the likes of Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, and the completely faultless Alan Rickman. I just didn’t buy into Hermione’s love for Ron or Harry’s distress at Ginny’s blossoming love life. The teenage love-triangles were, quite simply, square!

The film focused on the wrong aspects of the story. What was the significance of the Half Blood Prince? He’s in the title, yet I came away from the film not really understanding why the script even bothered mentioning him. And most vitally, what on earth are horcruxes? Considering they are pretty much the most important revelation in the book, the issue was skimmed over to the extent that they may as well have been the newest flavour of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

As always, the scenery and effects were stunning yet this was not enough to redeem the other fatal errors made throughout the 2½ hour ordeal. The film certainly was not the worst of the year but can an average film really do justice to Rowling’s masterpiece?

Emma Lautman

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