REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Two years after the release of The Chamber Of Secrets, the third instalment in the franchise Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is here. Even after seeing the trailer back in 2004, there were many thoughts about this film being very different in comparison to the previous two films. Plus, there is a new director so there was going to be at least something a bit different about The Prisoner Of Azkaban. If there is anything that this third film has shown us, it has shown us what the true nature of the series really is, seeing as it is a lot darker than the previous two films, it is more intense and things really begin to get personal from this film onwards.

Unlike the first two films, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban somehow manages to NOT feel slow or drag on at times and it manages to get the majority key moments that were in the book without feeling rushed. There are a few moments in the Harry Potter books that weren’t in the films, but I would say that The Prisoner Of Azkaban is perhaps the most accurate to the book out of all 8 films. So, you seriously need to read the books before watching the films! In one’s honest opinion, I think only 4 out of the 8 Harry Potter films are classed as dramas (Prisoner Of Azkaban, of course,Order Of The Phoenix, Deathly Hallows: Part I and Deathly Hallows: Part II so this third instalment picks it up.

After Dan’s poor performance in The Philosopher’s Stone and a slightly better one in The Chamber Of Secrets, there was only going to be another poor performance along the way! However, despite Dan did fail at acting quite a few times (one scene when he really did where he really needs a slap across the face), he acted in other ways that he could actually really improve playing Harry. I guess, he is just getting used to the character a bit more and knowing how to play such a crucial and important character. So, out of the first three, this is his best performance so far. After reading the book, Dan’s appearance as Harry in the film is Harry’s exact description in the books. There was a slightly different Ron Weasley in The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Why? Because he was less cowardly and less funny, but a lot more serious so I think Rupert played a more mature Ron in this third instalment. The Prisoner Of Azkaban changed Hermione Granger a lot, just like Ron Weasley, seeing as she is going from a little girl to a young woman. There was, still however, some little girl moments from Emma as Hermione, though. Emma was good once again as Hermione and apparently, her favourite novel out of the Harry Potter books is The Prisoner Of Azkaban so there must have been some dedication to this film. Then again, she did act a bit forced at times so, perhaps acted a bit over the top.

The sad passing of Richard Harris struck the cast and crew deeply and the question was, who could possibly replace Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore and could there be a better one? When Michael Gambon was cast as Dumbledore, it was good news but at the same time, there were some uncertainties. Although, still preferring Richard Harris as Dumbledore, Michael Gambon was perhaps the best choice to replace him. The Dumbledore character wasn’t really involved in this one all that much and wasn’t really involved with Harry very much at all, but despite that, he was still good. David Thewlis, the new addition to the cast, as Remus Lupin was brilliant as well! Up until then, he became the closest to a father figure to Harry than anyone. Lupin was my favourite new Defense Against The Dark Arts Teacher because he was the most groundbreaking and controversial character.

Alfonso Cauron, a Mexican director, of a pretty much all-British film? They must know what they are doing then! I am really glad that Cauron was selected as director because he bought something new and extraordinary to the series, when it was really needed anyway seeing as this is a very crucial film! The most surprising thing about this one was that it didn’t feel a typical colourful and magical Hollywood film. The Prisoner Of Azkaban is perhaps the only one out of all of the films within the series that manages to do that, so at times it felt like a film on its own rather than a third film in a series. It is also the least grossing film in the franchise so that is where it is a rather unique one. So, it is a shame that he didn’t direct any of the other Harry Potter films because no, it isn’t my personal favourite of the series but it is definitely the best directed (perhaps the best written too).

Overall, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is another fantastic Harry Potter film that is throughout most of the time, a film on its own. It proves itself to be one of the darkest of the series and it is the breakthrough film in the franchise. So, after such a deep and personal story with twists and turns, business has damn sure picked up!

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~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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