Sure to be THE movie event of the summer, this film will knock your socks off. I've saw it yesterday - first time I've ever seen a Potter film on the cinema release date and I'm so pleased I went. Whilst there are departures from the book - mostly unnecessary and some not in keeping with JK's timeline (e.g. opening attack on a bridge that would not have been in existence when JK set the book) the film does not suffer. It is a visually stunning movie, a feast for the eyes.
If we thought the characters were all grown up in Order of the Phoenix we see that they have progressed further into adolescence in Half-Blood Prince. Harry and his friends are on the cusp of adulthood, striving to control raging hormones whilst also worrying about the rise of the dark forces outside the school walls. In this film you will find wonderful performances from all the leads and the supporting cast as they perfectly convey their personal battles as well as their battle against Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
Malfoy's character gets padded out a little in this movie and we see more complexity in his struggle to see through the mission Voldemort chose him for. His progress with his 'special task' does not bode well for Hogwarts and its students or for Snape who has promised to watch over and protect him - a promise made at a high cost.
Hogwarts is not the haven and sanctuary it once was. When a student is harmed, it seems that Hogwarts and its students are the targets of a dark campaign. Is anyone safe? And who is the Half-Blood Prince?
Voldemort is getting more powerful and his Death Eaters are openly attacking the muggle and wizarding communities. Dumbledore thinks he can see a chink in the Dark Lord's armour but he needs Harry's help to find out if he is right. It seems Harry must get to know a new member of staff who once taught at the school many years before and who knows something that could be the key to winning the war against Voldemort.
Whilst full of the challenges of teenage angst, raging hormones and the joy and pain of life and love, this film charts Harry's relationship with Dumbledore, his mentor, the man who is training him to meet his destiny.
Roll on the next cinema release...I can hardly wait.
Dark times lie ahead ... the fight is not over yet!