it was the last full show, the one that began at 11:40 PM on a friday, when i watched harry potter and the half-blood prince. by 12:30, half of the people on my side of the theater were fast asleep, only waking up when the sounds became too muchto ignore, as with scenes of quidditch and spells being cast, and the run-of-the-mill wizard violence of harry’s world.
i wasn’t surprised really. the only way this would still be interesting to any audience is if they have read the books, or have a clear memory of all the movies before this. for half-blood prince in particular, the novel had too many silences about both protagonists and antagonists, about each and every character, that the movie couldn’t help but render as well.
and so it has been said, that this was the one movie that had all the kids’ hormones raging. but this isn’t true at all. in the book, these relationships that are being created between the harry and ginny, ron and hermione, are important as part of their growth as wizards and witches, and as people. the maturity is two-fold, and is not at all as superficial as hormones.
the movie itself parallels this with the gravity of events that the kids are going through: the weasly’s house is burned to the ground, they experience fighting off the death eaters themselves, ron almost dies, harry almost kills draco. all the drama about love couldn’t be taken separate from this.
and yes, the movie cannot be taken separately from the book. there is just too much in the latter that cannot be rendered in film. so far i still think that the Order of the Phoenix has been the best film as far as choosing which details to highlight from the book are concerned, and as far as choosing the battles that are important. it is horrible that for Half-Blood Prince, the filmmakers decided not to show the female teachers fighting it out with the evil forces.
but still: tears tears for dumbledore’s death from this grown woman — such a geek atheart. it must’ve looked even stranger because the people around me were all fast asleep.