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Details on Cave Scene, Events on Astronomy Tower from HBP Screening

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
September 07, 2008, 02:00 PM

Hang on everyone, we have another treat this morning! In addition to the first report from the test screening of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” which took place yesterday in Chicago, TLC reader Rachezee sent us a new report today. This new report goes into great detail on the dramatic Cave Scene with the Inferi, as well as the pivotal events on the Astronomy tower with Snape, Draco and Dumbledore. Again a MAJOR SPOILER CAUTION is given, scroll down to read.

Thanks so much Rach!

SCROLL DOWN

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LAST CHANCE BEFORE REPORT

I am so sorry everyone, in my haste to write my review I completely forgot the cave scene! So here it is-

Dumbledore meets Harry at the top of the Astronomy tower and they apparate to outside the cave. As they are leaving Harry is surprised that that they can apparate from within the Hogwarts grounds, and Dumbledore says something along the lines of “That’s the beauty of being headmaster.”

The scene they apparate to, despite being slightly unfinished was nonetheless absolutely breathtaking. Cliffs and huge waves dominate the scene. Dumbledore finds their way to the anti-chamber and slits his hand (for you star trek fans – he does it in a Klingon way – straight across the inside of his hand). The wall crumbles away and Dumbledore explains to Harry that Voldemort would have set up defenses around the Horcrux.

The cave is very different than what I had pictured and than all the fan art I have seen, but still a chilling and amazing sight. It reminded me a bit of a normal cave mixed with the ice crystal place Superman goes to in one of his movies. The whole cave is a vast formation of huge crystals, jagged and rough, jutting out from the ceiling walls and floor.

They make their way to the water and Dumbledore cautions Harry not to touch it and he starts to raise the boat with magic. Then he has Harry reel it in with a very heavy long chain.

The island is a formation of crystals as is the basin. Now the only really cheesy and unspectacular thing about this whole scene is that they use a large white clam shell partially imbedded in a small rock to scoop up the potion. In my opinion it looked rather silly. Dumbledore tell Harry to force him to drink the potion and Gambon once again does a slightly better than usual job being forced to drink the potion.

At one point towards the end you can very softly hear Dumbledore mumble something like “please don’t hurt them, it’s all my fault.” But it was almost inaudible and I doubt anyone who has not read the book caught the line at all. Then after the last scoop is drunk, Gambon kind of goes back to his rather poor, unresearched acting and says with far too much strength. “Harry, Water.”

But first Harry goes back to the Basin and recovers the locket and in the background we can hear Dumbledore saying “Harry, water” getting slightly weaker each time he says it. Harry attempts to fill the basin with water the aguamenti charm, but can not get the scoop the water up with that silly shell. After trying several times and Dumbledore starting to collapse he goes to the lake to fill it there.

Suddenly the light that was emanating from the island with the basin goes out, and Harry lights his wand (most unfortunately with the non-existent spell luminous-maximus, or whatever it was he used in the beginning of the third movie), and slowly reaches down to scoop up the lake water. The moment he touches it a hand reaches out and grabs Harry’s wrist. The whole audience jumped in fear. Harry tries to fend off the inferi with all the spells we hear him try in the books. But in the end he is pulled down into the water.

Before I go on I must say the Inferi scene was one of the most spectacular of this movie. They looked a bit like the newer version of the Dementor, but much more human shaped and brownish. I fear I am not describing them well, because they were truly a scary site to see. The camera angles captured the scene of Harry trying hopelessly to defend himself and Dumbledore from them as they clambered onto the island from all different angles and the sheer number of them eventually overwhelms Harry and he is pulled down deep into the lake.

While Harry is underwater the view we have is from below him looking up and we can see the whole island from below as well. Suddenly the Inferi holding Harry releases him and he swims up to a surface covered in ferocious flame. The “ring of fire” Dumbledore conjures is an unbelievable sight, far more than I think anyone pictured in the books, but incredibly spectacular. Harry and Dumbledore climb back in the boat and the scene then cuts to Harry helping Dumbledore through the cave.

The every so anticipated lines of (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t worry sir, I’ll get us back” and Dumbledore replying “I am not worried, I am with you” are said. Executed very well by Radcliffe though rather poorly in my opinion by Gambon who clearly does not know the significant emotional value we fans know those lines have.

They then apparate back to the top of the astronomy tower. There is no dark mark in the sky. But as Dumbledore says he needs Severus not Madame Pomfrey they hear a commotion and Dumbledore orders Harry to go and hide and not come out or interfere. A command the book Harry would never have followed, but that the movie Harry would obey. Harry goes underneath the wooden floor of the tower where Dumbledore is standing where he can see everything through large gaps between the wood slates. Draco arrives and Tom does a brilliant job as a boy trying to be fierce and terrified at the same time. Some lines from the book are rather butchered by Dumbledore saying things like “Draco, you are not an assassin.” Then the Death Eaters arrive all in masks except Bellatrix and Greyback. Bellatrix urges Draco to do it though his wand lowers slightly.

Meanwhile under the floor Harry who is watching terrified with his wand at the ready is sneaked up on by Snape, whose wand is also out and puts his finger to his lips to make sure Harry stays quiet. My description does not quite capture that scene well enough, but I was surprised to find my heart ripping, perhaps because I knew what was going to happen when Snape appeared there. Snape quietly appears above, and Dumbledore, with far too much strength says “Severus Please.”

And Snape does the Avada Kadavra, and Bellatrix is ecstatic. The scene with Dumbledore being lifted into the air was unfortunately unfinished because we see him up in the air and then apparently falling down the side of the tower, but there was no motion yet. He is stationary in both scenes. I am sure more special effects will be added later. Then Bellatrix casts the Dark Mark (another amazing updated special effect with a black smoke skull and snake tongue). The Deatheaters all run out, destroying a bit of the castle in a euphoric tantrum along the way. There is no battle inside Hogwarts and the only one to chase them is Harry.

There was no Amycus or Alecto anywhere I could see. Oh, and there is no Rosmerta either. Forgot to mention that before.

Anyway, the Deatheaters set Hagrid’s hut on fire and the scene I already described happens between Harry and Snape. Harry then returns to find the whole school gathered around Dumbledore’s body, McGonagall in the front completely stunned and silent. Harry kneels down at Dumbledore’s side, brushes a hair out of his face and finds the locket, but does not open it. Clutching the locket He starts to cry and Ginny goes and holds him also crying. Then following McGonagall’s lead, everyone lights there wand (I think they all murmur something in unison but I can’t remember what) and slowly raise them as one in the air. Final shot of that scene is from above with all the lighted wands surrounding the tower, Dumbledore, Harry and Ginny.

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