RELEASED 2004 RUNTIME 142 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION ALFONSO CUARON SCREENPLAY STEVE KLOVES STARRING DANIEL RADCLIFFE, RUPERT GRINT, EMMA WATSON, ROBBIE COLTRANE, MICHAEL GAMBON, RICHARD GRIFFITHS, GARY OLDMAN, ALAN RICKMAN, FIONA SHAW, MAGGIE SMITH, TIMOTHY SPALL, DAVID THEWLIS, EMMA THOMPSON, JULIE WALTERS MUSIC JOHN WILLIAMS
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the third movie in the franchise and continues Harry’s story during year 3 of him being a student at Hogwarts.
The death of Harry’s parents becomes a new dimension as it is revealed that Voldemort had help during the murder from a man named Sirius Black. But not only that, he just recently escaped from the prison at Azkaban and is now on the hunt for Harry.
This is the first movie in the franchise with a different director and you can tell. This one goes even more dark than the previous film and also feels a little bit more gritty and obscure. The cinematography is more playful with some tilted and extreme perspectives, while still being on point. But colors are a little bit more subdued, which give the movie a cold and real look.
On the other hand, things seem even more crazy than before. Especially during the beginning there is some bizarre stuff happening – almost disturbing. Just gonna say, Balloon humans! Holy shit, what an insane scene in a good way 🙂
There is more focus on character depth than before which also reflects in the acting. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry seems to have found his groove and has some great dramatic scenes. But Emma Stone and Rupert Grint also have (literally) grown up and seem better in their roles than ever before.
One thing that threw me off at first was the re-cast of Dumbledore, now played by Michael Gambon. I think he does a good job, but he feels a little different – more lively and more talkative. I don’t know if I like that. Maybe I have to get used to it. But it certainly sticks out.
Besides the familiar characters we also have some new additions, which are great. David Thewlis as professor Lupin and Gary freakin Oldman as Sirius Black. Hell yes! If you had asked me who would better fit the role of a crazy serial killer other than Gary Oldman, I would have blanked. This role is made for him. However, without spoiling too much, his character has more sides to him and goes to a places I did not expect whatsoever.
One thing I don’t how to feel about is the visual style. I was pointing out the great photography and visual direction the movie takes with Alfonso Cuaron at the helm. However, there is noticeably more CGI in this film, which kind of departs from the mostly practical style of the previous films. Sure, there is some stuff you wouldn’t be able to use practical effects for the way it is portrayed, but I’m just saying, the film is more CG heavy. Just something that I noticed because I have keen eyes, ha! 😉
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban is a great third film that takes the franchise into a much darker direction, which is really cool. Alfonso Cuaron’s addition as the director feels very fresh and brings more character focus onto Harry Potter. If that’s part of the book or just the freedom that the filmmakers took, I don’t know cause I haven’t read the books. But the more character development you can insert into any movie, especially a franchise such as this, I am welcoming.
Long story short, if you like the previous movies, you will probably like this one as well, even though it may feel a little different at first, which is a good thing in my opinion. Keep it fresh!