Monday, November 7, 2016

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban marks the third installment in the series and a major jump with Alfonso Cuaron taking over the reins from Chris Columbus. Cuaron is another league as a filmmaker and it shows from early on in the film. The atmosphere is far more palatable than ever before, which is especially important given the sense of paranoia created by the central plot of an escaped fugitive as well as due to the ghostly dementors. Take just for example the first scene where the black dog appears. The sound design, the editing, the music, everything comes together in creating a real sense of fear. The film goes beyond anything seen in the previous two just in sheer filmmaking and that is because of Cuaron. There is a real fascination with the world itself that Curaon creates, even with the overarching darker tone, as he takes times for this smaller moments of beauty, that are the signs of a great director at work. The story is at its most gripping here as Cuaron executes pivotal scenes so well, particularly the time bending climax that could have been blundered severely in the wrong hands. Now as excellent as Cuaron's work is for the most part the film has a few missteps. The work from the kids still leaves a bit to be desired unfortunately in some pivotal moments such as when Harry finds out what he believes Sirius Black did. There is also the introduction of Sirius Black, which despite being played by Gary Oldman, comes off as a bit much in order to create a fake out. These missteps are few and can be overlooked in favor of the greater achievements of the film. 

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