- Analysis of the Book
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling is the third book in the Harry Potter series and focuses on Harry’s third year at Hogwarts. The summer before Harry’s third year, Sirius Black escapes the magical prison, Azkaban, and many believe that he is after Harry. Throughout Harry’s third year at Hogwarts, Harry learns more about his parents’ past with Voldemort and Sirius Black. A few of the book’s themes are magic, good vs. evil, and misconception.
- Analysis of the Film
The film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban directed by Alfonso Cuarón closely follows the book it was based on. Cuarón gives the film a more artistic and darker perspective that the previous two Harry Potter films do not have. He changes the dialogue and cuts some of the plot from the book out, but he manages to bring the entire story together. Some of its themes are fantasy, magic, time-travel, and good vs. evil.
- Analysis of the Adaptation
While the film captures most of the story in the Prisoner of Azkaban novel, it does cut some parts of the book to bring out more of the darker tones. One of the things that Harry struggles with throughout the novel is hearing his parents’ final words and their connection to Sirius Black. Even though it is implied in the film, there is no deeper explanation other than he was their friend and he betrayed them. Cuarón takes the darker themes of the novel and uses them to darken the Harry Potter world. There are several minor scenes in the film that are not in the novel, but give the Harry Potter world more perspective.
- Online Research on the Film
This interview with Alfonso Cuarón shows how Cuarón took the Harry Potter world, which was already established in film, and gave it his own twists. Cuarón also talks about his experience with the producers and actors while filming Prisoner of Azkaban.
The article addresses how Cuarón moved from directing mainly adult narrative into children series when he agreed to direct Prisoner of Azkaban.
In this review of Prisoner of Azkaban, the writer addresses Alfonso’s darker perspective on the Harry Potter films and the visual effects that it has. Even though the film has a darker tone than the two previous Harry Potter films, there are pops of bright colors to ease the tone. There is more cheekiness with the use of props, portrayals, and background effects. While the film is less faithful to the Harry Potter series as the previous two films were, it brings new themes that Prisoner of Azkaban addressed.
- Critical Argument Paragraph
There have been many mixed reviews about Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. While some critics dub it the best Potter film, others argue that it is the worst. Prisoner of Azkaban does have one of the best scenes in the film series, but naming it either the best or worst film in the series is questionable. One of the best scenes in the book series is the confrontation in the Shrieking Shack. It reveals more about the Potters’ history and who truly betrayed them. Cuarón’s version of the confrontation is just as good as the Rowling’s version. It is one of the few scenes in the film that stays faithful to the book’s scene. Calling the film the best of the series is a bit too much because there are films in the series that are more faithful to the book and have their own tone. On the other hand, calling it the worst is also too much because there are other films, such as Half Blood Prince, that turn the major story of the book into a very minor aspect of the film, which does not happen in Prisoner of Azkaban. While Prisoner of Azkaban might not be the best of the films series, it is definitely not the worst.