Synopsis: A dangerous murderer and the man who betrayed Harry’s parents escapes from the wizard prison Azkaban and are in search of Harry Potter in order to finish the work he started twelve years ago.
Description: Now in his third year at Hogwarts Harry’s life is endangered by the escaped murderer Sirius Black and his school and quidditch career jeopardised by the prescience of the terrifying Azkaban guards known as Dementors. The mysterious disappearance of Ron’s rat and the strange behaviour of Hermione’s new cat lead to a moonlit encounter with the Dementors and Sirius Black, not to mention a supposed idly dead man and a werewolf.
Review: The third film in the Harry Potter series takes a far darker and more upsetting tone than the first two, where Harry discovers that the man who betrayed his parent’s to the evil Voldemort is still alive and hoping to return to his master.
Attacks on the school by Sirius Black and the introduction of a creature that shows students their deepest fears add to the darkness of this movie. Gary Oldman’s performance as Sirius Black is definitely worth noting, whilst the sight of the Dementors both help to keep the tension and general creepy feel of The Prisoner of Azkaban at boiling point throughout it’s runtime.The looming image of the black dog and the constant ascertains that Harry is going to die also help to heighten the tension in the movie, although these do it a little less subtly than some of the other aspects mentioned above.
The film’s biggest problem is it’s length, although longer than the first two movies the film still struggles to fit everything that appears in the book into the movie; which kills the mood on occasion when things that ought to have been allowed to build slowly to a terrifying crescendo get a little bit lost as the narrative rushes past trying to fit as much in as possible.
Overall the film is not as strong as it could have been, yet it does a wonderful job of building on the personalities and relationships of the characters audiences have come to know intimately by this point. The children are beginning to grow up and their acting talents maturing and evolving into those of serious actors, whilst the development of the relationships between some of the older characters leads to some genuinely heart warming and heart breaking outcomes at the movies close.