Directed by Alfonso Cuarón and based on the third book in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series of novels, Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) enter their third year at Hogwarts as trouble begins to brew when it is revealed that convicted murderer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban and is coming after Harry. With yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) tries to help Harry defend himself against the Dementors, the soul-sucking guards of Azkaban who have been employed at Hogwarts to protect the students. But they’re the least of his worries.
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book and my comparison of the film to the book soon.
This third instalment is definitely one of the best instalments in the franchise as the shift in tone with the change in directors brings even more magic to an already wonder-full franchise. The film may miss out on a lot of detail from the book, but it brilliantly captures the essence of wondrous discovery and lurking danger that Hogwarts is all about.
As the trio reach the age of 13, this instalment also feels more mature. It still captures the fun atmosphere of being a part of a wizarding world, it just does it in a more inclusive way. It’s certainly more an adult fantasy adventure than its predecessor, anyway, whilst it still manages to tackles some common early teen issues.
The British talent included in this franchise is just superb, with Gary Oldman and David Thewlis making it even more impressive in this instalment. Their characters are two of my favourites in the franchise so I will always love this film for introducing them and their little bromance, which is a key part of this story.
With a great twist at the end, finally some answers for Harry, and the introduction of magic that could really alter things in the bigger picture, The Prisoner of Azkaban is undoubtedly one of the best films in the franchise.