Monday, March 21, 2011

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

2009, US/UK, directed by David Yates

After the relatively brisk previous installment, the running time for the sixth film in the Harry Potter creeps back up again as director David Yates struggles to deal with the huge amount of plotting in J.K. Rowling's source novel; as a consequence, several plotlines are given extremely short shrift, so much so that at times you can't quite figure out how the characters got from one location to the next (all that magical disapparation presumably helps). The need to cram in all the action lends a breathless tone to much of the the film, though Yates is nonetheless able to find time to craft a number of evocative sequences, particularly one in the "room of requirement," a cluttered, musty place used to hide objects: even if the outside world begins to loom larger for Harry and his friends as the film advances, the filmmakers always seem on surer ground within Hogwarts, an atmospheric location if ever there was one.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States