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Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

I read the review in the Buffalo News today, and it pointed out that HP&HBP was an excellent film but an awful rendition of the book.  I paraphrase, but that was the gist.  I have to admit that at that point I felt pretty good about the fact that I’d completely neglected to reread the sixth HP, as I might have, had I been in my right mind for the last six months.  Er, nine months.  Oh, let’s just give it a whole damn year.  Yes, let’s.  More on that later.  Perhaps.

I have to say, I was pleasantly astounded by the director’s use of silence.  It was a ballsy move, I think, but it was pervasive – not just with the actors speech, but also in their movement, in the photography (trust me, there was a sense of silence there, too – a spareness) as well as in the actual soundtrack – long spaces of silence.  No words.  No movement.  No music.  No sound effects.






It was stunning.  I have to say, it added to the young actor’s performances.  I say this, but with the exception of Tom Felton, who did not need the silence to shine – his was just a stellar performance.

I like to think I added something to the showing of the film, however.  In the dead silence of the theatre this evening, just when everyone who is anyone knows that the Inferi is about to grab Harry, the Inferi did in fact grab Harry.  And I screamed.

No, that doesn’t do it justice.  In the middle of a deadly silent theatre, whilst watching a moment of near silence in the movie, I – quite involuntarily, mind you – unleashed the most ear-piercing, blood-curdling shriek.  People screamed in fright in response to my shriek.  And then people laughed.  I laughed, too, but it was a priceless moment, if I do say so myself.  I can out=shriek any horror film starlet, so long as I am genuinely… startled.  I have a very, very high startle response.

I was glad that I did not read the book.  As it was, there were only twinges of ‘hmm, I don’t seem to recall it happening quite like this’ as opposed to the feelings of outrage and betrayal that I’ve had in other screenings of previous HPs, where I’d found myself walking out of the theatre making excuses for why it didn’t suck as horribly as it seemed to.  I had to make no excuses.  This DVD I will happily add to my library not because it is part of a series, or because it is reference, but purely on its own merit.

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