If you’re thinking of things to do this August, it’s still not too late to catch the newest installment of the Harry Potter franchise; Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
As a die-hard Harry Potter nut, I’ve been trying to find time to watch the movie since it opened on 15th July and finally managed to see it at the Megabox cinema at the Village in Sanlitun. http://www.imegabox.com/ Having paid RMB 40 per person to get in (student price), we settled down in the extremely comfy seats to watch the movie. Well, not quite as I ran back to get refreshments, forgetting that for a mere muggle it’s not easy to carry 4 cokes and 2 popcorns and re-present my ticket on request.
When we were all finally settled (and with the full contingent of cokes, minus a little on my leg and the cinema floor) and the wholly Chinese language trailers and adverts were finished, the room went dark and the film began.
The sixth part of a seven book, and now film, series The Half Blood Prince (THBP) was never likely to have a plot that was very self-standing, but actually director David Yates delivers an enchanting film (pardon the pun) which manages not only to be damn good in its own right, but is arguably the very best of the series so far. Dark and brooding might be the two words that best describe THBP but there’s plenty in the way of comedy (kudos to Rupert Grint), action (wizard battles are just way cooler than normal ones), and some really touching scenes as our bespectacled hero delves into his arch nemesis Lord Voldemort’s past- with some surprising discoveries and a shocking final twist.
Needless to say I loved it, Harry, Ron and Hermione; once again played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were vastly improved on some previously wooden performances. The old regulars (including Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith) were once again brilliant and were improved even more by the arrival of Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn, the potions master with a dark secret.
What surprised me more however was that I was not alone in loving THBP. The friends I roped into coming with me had never watched any of the Harry Potter films, nor read any of the books (heathens), but still enjoyed themselves nonetheless. Which just goes to show how far these films have advanced since Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone hit our screens back in 2001. From a decidedly fan-driven franchise to a fun family film you just have to watch, Harry Potter looks like it will continue to stupefy audiences for years to come.