‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ Is The Best Potter Movie, Don’t @ Us
You can be mad if you want to, but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the best Harry Potter movie. Before you get your knickers knotted in a ball, we wouldn’t just make that sort of declaration without having receipts. To begin we get it; we realize that the film, which was helmed by Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón, looks drastically different from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chris Columbus of Home Alone fame directed the first and second film. When Cuarón came on the scene for Azkaban he knew that it was time to add a bit more darkness to The Wizarding World. In doing so, he was able to expand Harry Potter, Hermonie Granger, and Ron Weasley’s world while setting the tone for the remaining five films.
Let’s dive right in shall we. Many of the OG Potter fans (like us) have various gripes with the films, mainly that the movies are so different and Peeves the poltergeist is nowhere to be found. If you’ve been reading J.K. Rowling’s books since ’98 (it got to the U.S. a year late OK!)–you expected to see certain things on the screen, and when that didn’t happen, we’re sure your pre-teen/teen angst began to bubble to the surface. However, by using his own specific vision for Azkaban and leaning into some major changes like Michael Gambon stepping in as Dumbledore after Richard Harris’ death, Cuarón enabled the entire HP film franchize to stand on its own–separate from the novels.
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Though Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets established the Boy Who Lived’s background–the texture of Azkaban allowed the audience to really sit with the intricacies of the story. Instead of just using Hogwarts as a background fixture for HP and his homies, Cuarón peeled back the layers of castle allowing us to see into the dorms for the first time. Harry often vocalized that Hogwarts was his true home, not 4 Privet Drive. Giving us a glimpse into the dorms where he could just be a boy and hang with Ron, Seamus, Neville, and Dean you can see why he felt that way.
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