Saturday, 16 November 2013

Film adaptation: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban



Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third installation in the Harry Potter series. It is Harry's third year at Hogwarts and the wizarding world is in uproar over the escape of highly dangerous criminal, Sirius Black, from the maximum security prison, Azkaban. This book is where we are first introduced to the Dementors, the guards of Azkaban, that suck out all the happiness from their victims.

The film adaptation of Prisoner of Azkaban was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and his mark on the film is unmistakeable. The first two Harry Potter films had a dream-like, magical quality to them. Cuarón's Harry Potter universe is dark, dangerous and foreboding. It was truly a foreshadowing of the things to come. In terms of the film series, I felt that this third film set the tone for the rest of the series which got progressively darker and more serious.


One of the things I really enjoy about the Harry Potter films is that the casting is almost always spot-on. Prisoner of Azkaban is no different. Although I mourned the loss of Richard Harris (he will forever be Dumbledore in my mind) and did not really like Michael Gambon's Dumbledore at first (he eventually grew on me), I felt that Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were perfectly cast. Gary Oldman really captured the grave yet slightly unhinged demeanour of Sirius Black while David Thewlis's gentle and nurturing Remus Lupin was how I imagined him to be when reading the book.


I loved the book and the film did not disappoint. Hands down, Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite Harry Potter book AND film. Definitely a must-watch. 5 out of 5 stars!


Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Writers: J.K. Rowling (novel), Steve Kloves (screenplay)

Year of release: 2004

NA's rating: 5/5

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