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Harry Potter fans grow up
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13:54, July 21, 2009

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Hundreds of Harry Potter fans braved humid weather to cheer the eagerly-awaited worldwide opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, at midnight on Wednesday.

At Wanda International Cinema, Capital Cinema, and UME Beijing cinema, hundreds jostled to get tickets to the premiere, hours before its opening. Similar scenes were reported from other cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chengdu.

In this sixth installment of the series of big-screen adaptations of J.K. Rowling's Potter tales, the cast is past the kiddie stage. They are now teenagers, forced to deal with weightier issues of mortality, memory, confusion and loss.

The film opens with a moody orchestral tone, which transports viewers to the land of Hogwarts and Muggles. The sixth Potter film sees Harry and his friends at Hogwarts school battling evil Lord Voldemort, who has returned. Dark forces wait beyond the enchanted gates of the school.

The regular cast is back, with Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as sidekick Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as intelligent Hermione Granger - all of whom viewers have seen grow up on screen since 2001 - with the addition of Jim Broadbent as the Potions Professor, and Horace Slughorn, whose memories play a key role in the battle against the Dark Lord.

Screenwriter Steve Kloves has given the Rowling novel a dramatic form while adding new scenes such as the opening attack on London's Millennium Bridge. The schoolboy wizard, his classmates, teachers and enemies have passed through the hands of four directors since 2001. Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarn, Mike Newell and David Yates, have each brought to it a distinctive style and sensibility. The stories have become darker and more thematically complex, and the young actors playing Harry, Ron and Hermione have matured along with their characters. Director David Yates, after 2007's Order of the Phoenix, has thrown his energies into the lavish visuals and emotional scenes.

The movie's details constantly remind viewers that the boy Harry is now a man. When Harry first shows up at a cafe at Surbiton station, he naturally catches the eye of a waitress. With the headmaster Dumbledore later saying that "Harry, you need a shave my friend," viewers notice that Harry is no more the orphan whisked on the eve of his 11th birthday from a crowded, tragic corner to Hogwarts. He has to confront difficult emotions, even as the challenges he faces become more dangerous.

Hermione has evolved into a smart and sophisticated young woman. Ron, Harry's faithful helper, is a little more static. The relationships among the three friends are not always easy but despite the tribulations of adolescence, they have thus far remained inseparable - as they head toward the closing episodes - Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will come out in 2010, Part 2 in 2011.

Cutting-edge technologies help create fantasy-action filmmaking that have also developed with astonishing rapidity. The 28 sound tracks go along with the storyline with Nicholas Hooper, the same man who worked on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix anthems. In any event, the Harry Potter series continues to be one of the most satisfying and entertaining movie franchises in the world.

The normal price for Harry Potter in most of the cinemas is 70 yuan. Families can enjoy a package deal at the Saga Cinemas in Solana: 80 yuan for one adult and one child, 120 yuan for two adults and a child and 160 yuan for two adults and two children. All below 18 pay the child rates.

Source: China Daily

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