Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Posted: February 12, 2014 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Threads of darkness have run through the Harry Potter series since the first film. In the case of Sorcerer’s Stone and most of Chamber of Secrets though they were cleverly disguised by more light hearted fare. With Prisoner of Azkaban, the series took on a darker and more serious tone that only progressed and became more dominant through the rest of the films. The subject matter of the series has always been much more than just childrens programming but this was the film that proved it to the audiences.

It’s time for another school year at Hogwarts and it couldnt come soon enough as Harry’s home life has somehow managed to get worse. On top of that, the man held partially responsible for Harry’s parent’s deaths has escaped from Azkaban and is looking for Harry. Once the group gets settled in, weird things start to happen at the school. Dementors from Azkaban are patrolling the grounds and interfering where they shouldnt which causes its fair share of problems. Of course, there is a climax involving Sirius Black that is full of revelations. Oh, there is yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and yet again, he has a big secret of his own.

This was the first film in the series where I, and undoubtedly countless others, knew that the series was really something to be taken seriously. Thats not to say that the first two films were “kid stuff” by any means, only that this film was more mature. This was the film that locked me in for the long haul. The story line of this film also delved a little more into some really deep, personal material involving Harry’s parents and the truth about their deaths.

This film introduced a few more big name actors to the series boasting Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, and Timothy Spall. This is also the first film following the death of the late, great Richard Harris having been replaced by the equally beloved Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. Long story short, this is a solid film. It sets up the darker material to come and made the series more serious to the general public. Til next time…

Heath

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