Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince

You might scoff that this series of films is just for kids, but most of us have a guilty secret; we love Harry Potter. I was actually forced to read the first book by a friend’s daughter. She refused to believe that being a ‘grown up’ was a good enough excuse to miss out of the magic, and sat reading it out loud to me until I succumbed. After that, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was hooked.

So far, the films have not been a patch on the books. Although the characters are well cast, the actors were very young and inexperienced, making the first few films a little awkward and unpolished. They have improved though, and the actors seem to be growing into their roles. I can safely say that ‘The Half Blood Prince’ is undoubtedly the best Harry Potter film yet. The story line does not have the urgency of its predecessor, but the entire ambiance is darker, deeper and more enthralling.

There is also a fair amount of humour and hormones thrown into the mix. Harry, Ron and Hermione have reached the age where they see members of the opposite sex in a new light. Harry begins to notice Ginny Weasley more, and Ron is all wrapped up in Lavender Brown (to Hermione’s distress). These kids have really picked up some skills along the way and put on a great performance. Also, many of us have matured along with these characters, so have a familial fondness of them. I shall be sad when the saga is over and the fly the cinematic nest.

The darkness is evident throughout the film; less time is spent concentrating on Hogwarts (which is now more glossy than in previous films), and more in the sooty streets of London. The dementors are as terrifying as ever and make you wonder how children enjoy the film! Thankfully, Emma Watson doesn’t have half as much sex appeal when she’s dressed as a school girl – you can breathe a sigh of relief!

If you haven’t read the books or seen the previous films, this one does stand alone as a great film, but obviously it is best watched if you are already with the history and the characters. I would recommend this one to anyone, any age. Perhaps not the most romantic place to take your London escort, but brilliant for friends and family.