HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE

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Overall Impression – More mature, more dark, and more complex than previous movies.  As Harry himself grows up, so do the films.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Who’s your main character? – Harry Potter.

What’s he trying to accomplish?Professional: Figure out Draco’s plan by befriending Professor Slughorn, and stop Voldemort.  Personal: Win Ginny.  Private: Accept the reality that he’s the chosen one, and that a confrontation with Voldemort is inevitable.

Who’s trying to stop him? – Draco, the Death Eaters, Snape…but ultimately it’s Voldemort.

What happens if he fails? – Both the wizard world and the muggle world will be overrun, Voldemort will win, and everything Harry loves will be destroyed.

THE FOUR ARCHETYPES

Orphan – Harry is the wizarding world’s most famous orphan, and his being “outed” as the Chosen One makes him both desirable to others as well as an outcast.

Wanderer – Harry learns that Professor Slughorn is in possession of a memory that Dumbledore believes is crucial to their learning how to destroy Voldemort.  Harry also learns that Draco is up to something.  He also realizes his feeling for Ginny in earnest, thrown into relief because she’s seeing somebody else.

Warrior – Harry tries to befriend Slughorn to procure the true memory, and moves closer to Ginny.  When Harry and Dumbledore learn that Voldemort split his soul and stored each part in a ‘horcrux’, they journey to a cave to destroy one.

Martyr – Harry and Dumbledore risk death to retrieve the ‘horcrux’, and Dumbledore later martyrs himself so that Harry can live to fight Voldemort.

AND, IN THE END…

This is definitely one of my favorite Harry Potters.  Certainly there were some elements I wished could’ve made it into the movie, or were explored more fully, but that’s inevitable.  It’s also inevitable that, being the sixth of seven stories in the series (though HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS is now going to be two movies), this movie feels like an episode of a much larger story.

HARRY POTTER has always been about a boy’s quest for acceptance, embracing his role in a larger world, and the seeking of revenge against those that harmed his family.   There’s a nice parallel in this particular installment between Harry and Draco.  Draco’s star is on the wane at Hogwarts, he has been selected by a powerful wizard for a dangerous mission, and he wants revenge against those who have harmed his father.    It’s exactly this type of “unity of opposites” that creates the most potent conflicts.

— Dan Pilditch & Jeffrey Alan Schechter

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