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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004 English Fantasy Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Srijita Biswas Featured Writer Thumbnail
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5 Star popcorn reviewss

Hello there! I hope you are enjoying reliving the Harry Potter induced nostalgia, the way I am. There is this thing about the Harry Potter franchise, you can never stop at one. So last night as I sat down to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I indulged in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as well. I have given up on practicing restraint on all things Potterverse these days. So now I get to review the third movie in the series “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

Before going further, a fun fact about the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the only year where Harry does not come across any forms or manifestations of the Dark Lord anywhere. So here’s to Harry’s (and our) third year at Hogwarts. Now you must be wondering if the year was Voldemort-free (there I said his name), what could possibly go wrong, right? Well, there’s plenty that could and plenty that did. We have a three hundred and seventeen pages book and a two and an almost half-hour long movie that is witness to that.

It is almost time for the school year and Harry cannot help but think of how he will be Dursley-free once again. Things have been as normal as could be for Harry so far but things happen. And Harry does something unimaginable, blowing someone away (quite literally). Harry is scared of repercussions and surprisingly, nothing happens. Instead Harry gets a very unusual visitor. He seems to be getting that quite a few of those throughout this installment.

Now would you believe me if I said your dog wasn’t a dog? Or if I said that the rat you hear squeaking every night is not a rat either? I would believe it. So would you, if you have watched the movie. Now, back on the road to Hogwarts and Harry’s (our) third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, strange things are happening. A murderer has escaped a high-security wizard prison. And creatures that suck the very soul out of you (quite literally) have been deployed at school. Things are taking on a darker turn and very quickly so. Stranger things and stranger beings abound. And a twist in the tale changes everything.

Once again, the ambience, the special effects, the surrounds are as usual, top-notch. The VFX team outdid themselves, once again. This movie holds a very special place in my heart. Since this was where Harry realizes that he is the only one who has his back. And this was the one where Harry finally finds he has someone he can call family (I will not say more on this). Only to have them taken away from him (in a manner). Darker themes become more evident. It is clear that Harry is growing up and he is facing some darker realities and truths of life. Special mention must be made here of Michael Gambon who successfully took over the mantle for the role of Albus Dumbledore since the passing away of Richard Harris (he will always be the best Dumbledore, for me).

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will always hold a special place in my heart. This acts as a turning point to the entire plot. Loyalties are set and a foreboding sense that darker things are to come, keeps lurking around the corner. Setting the stage for all that is yet to come, J. K. Rowling pulls no punches in letting us know that nothing will ever be hunky-dory. Not here. Not for Harry. This is not your average fairy tale. This is magic. But it is also as real as it can get. And Prisoner of Azkaban reiterates this fact once again. So while there is no Dark Lord induced mayhem, be prepared to stay on the edge of your seats for the next two hours and twenty-two minutes. I’d say all you’ll need for this one is chocolates. Loads of it. 

I am grabbing my secret stash of Bournville and sit for a re-watch, once again. What about you?

Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.