The Vatican has never been a fan of the Harry Potter series, but they must have done something right with the most recent film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
The new movie, which opens this week across Australia, “made the age-old debate over good v evil crystal clear”, The Associated Press reports The Vatican as saying. The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano applauded the film’s treatment of adolescent love, saying it achieved the “correct balance” and made the stars more credible to the general audience. The Daily Telegraph said the film was the best adaptation yet of the J.K. Rowling series. The Associated Press reports while criticising Rowling for omitting any explicit “reference to the transcendent” in her books, L’Osservatore said the latest installment nevertheless makes clear that good should overcome evil “and that sometimes this requires costs and sacrifice.”
“In addition, the spastic search for immortality epitomised by Voldemort is stigmatised,” the review said. But it wasn’t always that way.
The Vatican’s chief exorcist, back in 2006, condemned J. K. Rowling’s fictional boy wizard as downright evil.
“Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil,” said Father Gabriele Amorth, the Pope’s “caster-out of demons”. The Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano at the time condemned JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books for posing a danger to children by promoting witchcraft and the occult.
For the 2000 fans at last night’s Sydney premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the film had not lost any of its magic.
Reviews for the sixth film in the hugely successful franchise have been almost universally positive. And Sydney fans were in total agreement. Self-confessed Potter-head Angelina Kosev, 17, said the film had been “everything she hoped for and more”.
“They do tend to get darker and darker,” Ms Kosev said after watching the film at Sydney’s Greater Union cinema. “This one definitely got darker but there were some really light moments as well. The funeral was cut out but it was just awesome.”
Rachel Luck, 18, who won the best dressed contest at last night’s screening, said the film may be the best in the series. “It was amazing,” she said. “I have to watch it again to decide whether it is better than number five, but it was close.”
It was a longer than expected wait for fans with the film’s release date pushed back from Christmas to take advantage of a gap in the US summer seasons. Roadshow Films national marketing manager Phil Oneile said he did not believe the delay would harm the film’s box office prospects.