Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simpering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
I must admit to not being a “Harry Potter” expert. At the screening I saw, there were a few scenes which included certain looks from characters, or dialog, which caused the audience to erupt into laughter and I didn’t know why. I didn’t get the “inside” jokes. But I was able to follow the story pretty easily. This film is well made with very nice special effects and the acting was fine. In one humorous scene in which I did get, a certain female character admitted to sleepwalking at night and says, “That’s why I always wear shoes to bed!”
However, there are dark themes explored in the film, as with previous installments of the “Potter” series, which includes a witch in full costume along with a black hat, characters riding on broomsticks, potions being used and wands used as weapons. Along with the magic, there is the death of a major character and there was grief in the story as the characters tried to come to grips with the fateful death. Due to the dark themes and magic, we are unable to award our Dove Seal to this film.