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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

November 15, 2010

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Writer: Steve Kloves
Based on the book by: J.K. Rowling
Producer: Chris Columbus/David Heyman/Mark Radcliffe
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe/Emma Watson/Rupert Grint/Michael Gambon/Alan Rickman/Gary Oldman/Emma Thompson/Timothy Spall
Year: 2004
Country: UK/US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 142 minutes

With the quality of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, you’d have thought that the other movies surely couldn’t keep up but yet again, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban manages to out-do its predecessors. Harry goes back to Hogwarts when it is announced that serial killer, Sirius Black, has escaped from Azkaban, the wizard prison, and that everybody will be kept safe. However, Harry has a feeling something is following him. Yet again, the movie keeps the tone of the book, which is much darker and more grown-up than its previous years and more emotional too. The music by John Williams manages to capture the imagination of the book and set the mood and tone of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban just like it did with its previous years. Another brilliant thing about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the brilliant special effects. Buckbeak the Hippogriff looks very realistic and the creature has personality and character too. Also, the movie is very detailed from the magic to the Dementors and really adds that magical and imaginative touch to the movie. Even though Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of the darker Potter movies, it still manages to keep the strikingly beautiful scenery and make it a little more darker. Within the darkness of the movie, it keeps light through it’s humour and charm of the characters, creatures and magic.

Director Alphonso Cuaron takes over from Chris Columbus from directing the Potter movies and even though there’s a few things missing from the book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is still quite faithful to it’s source material so it was a welcoming change to see him make the movie more mature than the previous years. This movie is different to the last two because it really shows the more darker and sinister side to the wizarding world as it’s more grown-up and mature. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint give out a great performance yet again as our three young heroes Harry, Ron and Hermione and it’s great to see they step up their acting skills as they all play a more emotional role this time around. As ever, Alan Rickman does a great job in playing the part of the nasty Professor Snape and Gary Oldman is brilliant as Sirius Black. Many people believe that Michael Gambon doesn’t really make a great Albus Dumbledore and, while he is not Richard Harris, I thought that he did a great job nonetheless with his performance as the old and wise wizard. Yet again, a sequel improves from its last as you care for the characters and the creatures in the imaginative world and it’s striking locations. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had a tough time of trying to be better than the previous years but I believe that it managed to do it brilliantly so I say well done to the cast and crew!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the favourite among Potter fans and, while I think it’s a great movie, it’s not my favourite movie from the series. I think that many people like this movie because we see Harry, Ron and Hermione mature and grow from children to young adults and the change is noticeable in this movie as we see more emotion from the characters. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are brilliant family movies but I wouldn’t be too sure if Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban might be a little scarier for the younger audience. With a spell-binding story, fantastic performances all around and great direction and special effects, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a winner!

8/10

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