When it comes to the movies of recent origin that are known to the wide public, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one of the first that I can think of. In this part of the movie Harry Potter story which earlier seemed to be never-ending looks like gradually moving to an end. This movie is extremely rich in cinematic techniques which have aroused much controversy among people of different ages and occupations. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince can be a movie for any kind of audience (Nexon and Neumann 14); though primarily Harry Potter was supposed to be a children’s book, the sixth part of the story is more for the adults (Ravitch 82). There are six main criteria points that may be important to the audience while watching the movie; they are plot exposition, visual effects, adventure, action, adaptation, and character development with the former being the most important and the latter the least important one. Each of these criteria fulfills the expectations of the audience differently with the movie reviews helping to trace these differences.
Ranking the criteria was rather difficult because each of them is important for such a movie as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Plot exposition can be regarded as the most important criteria for the sense of the whole movie depend on it. Visual effects are also significant; however, they are less important if the audience cannot understand the movie. The presence of adventure is crucial for Harry Potter movies; this is what the audience expects from it. Nevertheless, adventure alone cannot be duly appreciated without plot exposition and strong visual effects. Action is extremely important for the audience; however, its importance is more valuable if the plot is clear to the audience, if great visual effects are used, and if adventure (without which the action is impossible) is present. Adaptation occupies a fifth place on the list of importance. Being close to the book according to which the movie was shot is important, especially if the audience is aware of that book, though this is not as important as the other characteristics. Finally, though character development is at the last place, it is not the least important for the Harry Potter story in which the audience observes the main characters growing and changing throughout all the seven books.
Not all the expectations of the audience are met with respect to these criteria. Plot exposition is used accurately; the information is disclosed to the readers through letters within the movie and flashbacks to the past (when Tom Riddle’s story of a childhood is depicted with Harry’s and Dumbledore’s using the pensive). Visual effects of the movie are hard to criticize; with regards to them, the expectations of the audience were fully met. Adventure is present in the movie for it is an integral part of it this is why the audience could hardly complain about this. Action and adventure go together in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with two of these being closely related to visual effects. This criterion has also been met almost perfectly. However, adaptation is not quite accurate; the movie disagreed with the book in some moments (for instance, in the book Tonks finds Harry under his invisibility cloak, while it is Luna Lovegood in the movie). Lastly, character development is great because the main characters change over the course of the narrative with Harry and Ginny, as well as Hermione and Ron falling in love with each other.
This movie can be recommended to the audience because most of the criteria points have only pros. Thus, plot exposition allows the audience to be well-informed about the events in the movie; visual effects are unlikely to leave the audience indifferent; adventure captures even the most disinterested viewer, while the action evokes excitement; and character development will strike the audience with unexpected events (especially, in the case with Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape). Adaption, however, may leave some viewers disappointed. This concerns the biggest part of those who have read the book for there are a number of inconsistencies between it and the movie.
One of the reviewers also believes that the movie has been adapted a little inaccurately stating that the director failed “to keep the whole thing from feeling like filler” (Dargis para. 4). Quite supportive of this idea is another reviewer, Andrew Pulver, who calls the direction slightly “ungainly” (Pulver para. 5). The third reviewer, Mali Elfman, also points out how vague the movie may seem if a viewer has not read the book: “There are a few scenes that are repetitive and other scenes which feel completely under-explained” (Elfman para. 10). Though these reviews are quite fair, I disagree with Mali Elfman that some scenes are repetitive. On the contrary, they all are so different that they may be hard to understand for someone who has not read the book. Therefore, inaccuracy of adaptation is one of the biggest cons of the movie. However, if compared with “Lord of the Rings”, for example, Harry Potter has more advantages in terms of visual effects (they are richer), character development (it is clearer), and action (which is more fascinating).
Therefore, with respect to six main criteria, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has cons only with adaptation for it is inaccurate. The tone which can be used with the audience when discussing this topic should be neutral but somewhat convincing at the same time. This can be achieved through contrasting my ideas and the ideas of other reviewers avoiding exaggeration, sarcasm, being insincere with the audience, or being too opinionated.
Dargis, Manohla. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).” The New York Times. 2009. Prox. Web.
Elfman, Mali. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Review”. ScreenCrave. 2009. uCrave. Web.
Nexon, Daniel H. and Neumann, Iver B. Harry Potter and International Relations. London: 2006.
Pulver, Andrew. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” The Guardian. 2009. Guardian News and Media Limited.
Ravitch, Diane. “Muggles, Broomsticks, Quidditch, and Owls That Deliver Mail: A Cast of Characters to Breathe Life-And the Magic of Good Writing-Into Children’s Literature.” Education Next 6.2(2006): 82.