There is no doubt to say that JK Rowling’s book series of Harry Potter is a must-have book. Each time a new Harry Potter book appears you will see children and teenagers poring earnestly over JK Rowling’s new stories and so deeply absorbed. It would take an act of God to distract them. Radiating fervor, they give the impression that they keep reading because they have no choice. That leads to a big challenge for filmmakers to replicate that sense of urgency on the audience’s part when they adapt the series.
To be honest, so far, their effort have fallen since the first two Harry Potter movies were dutiful rather than inspired. Chris Columbus served them up as dollops of efficient, action-packed and effects-heavy studio entertainment. However, that makes hard for those movies to provide indelible, life-altering memories for audiences in the manner for that matter. Still, with the enter of our Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, the third movie of JK Rowling’s book series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is a triumph.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie marks a huge stride forward with far more visually striking than its predecessors. Finally, Rowling’s soaring imagination find its justice in the third installment of the series.
In fairness, Cuarón has a head start as this is easily the best story of the three books having been filmed so far. As usual, Harry backs for his third year at Hogwarts and learns of an escaped prisoner on the loose. Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) is a fearsome wizard who may have had a hand in the deaths of Harry’s parents, and he is on the run from Azkaban jail and now seems intent on killing Harry. To guard the school against this threat, Azkaban’s intimidating guards, the Dementors, are posted around the grounds, but they terrify Harry more than Black himself.
Even thought, our young leads are up to this delicate task. Daniel Radcliffe may not be quite ready for Hamlet yet, but he carries off an air of worried introspection with assurance. His companions figure more prominently. Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) is as much loyal friend as mere comic foil, and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) pulls off a good trick as she evolves from irritating swat into a rigorously bright if impatient young woman. All three characters get the chance to assert themselves in various ways.
In a meanwhile, Harry devises a subtler revenge in a marvelous opening scene. He finally loses patience with his bullying, insulting Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris) at Sunday tea. He puts a spell on her and makes her swell up to the size of a barrage balloon. Obviously, this is a scene to be played for broad laughs, but Cuarón also invests it with a dreamy surrealism: the sight of the inflated Marge floating in the Dursleys’ back garden has an almost serene beauty.
It’s a foretaste of things to come, and when the action shifts to Hogwarts, Cuarón is like a kid let loose in a toy store. He clearly relishes its cloisters, nooks, arcades, and giddily ascending staircases. Cuarón allows his camera to swoop and pan and zoom as if at will. The result is a visually arresting sequence when the train taking our heroes to Hogwarts is suddenly stranded on a viaduct bridging a rain swept Scottish glen. Once stopped dead, it eerily begins to freeze over. Thus, does nameless dread enter Harry Potter’s teenage world.
The Prisoner of Azkaban is pivotal in Rowling’s cycle. It’s the point where the trickery and fun of wizardry give way to an acknowledgement of its dark side. Similarly, its view point shifts from childlike wonder to adolescent unease as Harry finds himself musing increasingly about his dead parents.