Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favourite movies within the series. The film serves as the transition between the lighter more child audience targeted films like Harry Potter 1&2 and the darker teen films like Harry Potter 4-7. The film goes into more detail about Harry’s parents and how they got involved with the fight against Voldemort in the past, and essentially how they died.

This film is one big mystery, who is Serius Black? Why does he want Harry dead? How did he escape Azkaban prison? A place no one has ever escaped from before. As the film unfolds we learn more about what the characters, Lupin, Pettigrew, Black and even Harry’s dad have in common. I really like this aspect of the film because we are finally getting some answers and it also builds on the idea that the dark lord is not gone and his servants are in hiding, but maybe not for long.

Up to this point, we see Harry and his friends use “beginners” magic, how to unlock a door or make feathers float. In this film we see Harry learn the Patronus charm, which feels like a real step into more serious magic. Harry needs to learn how to defend himself in later films, and this is the first step in that direction.

Overall, I really enjoy this particular film in the series because it is unique from the other films. It has a different atmosphere to it that the other films don’t have. However, the film still includes the same loveable characters. I find in comparison to the novels, the first two books are very similar to the films, whereas this film slightly strays away from hitting every detail and theme of the book, which I honestly prefer.

When I was reading the book it just gave more context to what I had already seen on screen, but I felt like the on-screen version of the whole going back in time thing was much more interesting. One thing that they hint at in the films that I found fascinating was Peter Pettigrew, Serius Black, and Remus Lupin’s relationship with Harry’s dad. For example, the marauder’s map and how they were friends in school and became animagus together.

I love this series of films, but this one is easily one of my favourites. A film I can watch over and over again and never get tired of. I find this one also has a lot of quirky characters and introduces different fun things. For example the night bus and professor Trelawney’s weird classes. I think since they were going in a darker direction than the first couple of films it was important that they still incorporated parts to have fun with and laugh at as well.


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