Blog Response – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (ENGL329B)

1. HPatPoA is the third book in the Harry Potter series. The book follows Harry and co. as they try to solve the mystery of Sirius Black and Professor Lupin. The book has darker tones than the previous two. This is most likely because the targeted demographic has grown up in the space between entries. The story also shifts into one that starts to answer questions that were brought up by the basic premise of the series. Where the first two books introduced elements, the third starts to resolve said elements.

2. The film version adopts the same whimsical visuals of the previous two movies, with some updating that goes along with the aging of the targeted demographic. The film also welcomes Michael Gambon into the role of Albus Dumbledore after the tragic death of the original Dumbledore actor, Richard Harris. The film’s style follows a little more “experimental” motif, as the director, Alfonso Cuaron, wanted to push the boundaries of what the film was going to present.

3. The adaptation is fairly faithful, but key details about the series are revealed through the visuals. Mr. Cuaron wanted to present faithful visuals of the Hogwarts ground, and because of this, the film inadvertently includes hints and foreshadows events that involve objects on the grounds that would not normally be detailed in the books. This is a very interesting and curious aspect of the adaptation, but is only apparent to those that have finished (or at least know the conclusion of) the series.

4. http://www.salon.com/2004/06/03/prisoner_azkaban/

This review goes into the differences in art style between this film and the previous two. It talks about how this film goes into the whimsical nature of the set pieces. Even the swirls of paint are accentuated to show the audience the wonders they expect from an HP film.

http://www.moviemistakes.com/film3738

This site does not really add to the story but it details mistakes that occur in the film, and it is incredibly interesting.

http://www.cinemablend.com/dvds/Harry-Potter-and-the-Prisoner-of-Azkaban-758.html

This review talks about how much the CGI has improved (I have not seen the previous films so this was news to me).

5. The cuts Mr. Cuaron made to the story make this adaptation seem more like a cohesive film, and this makes it much more interesting to watch. The previous two films were faithful retellings of the books, and this created a more pedantic experience; if you did not read the books, the films would not be as good. The third film cut much of the extraneous (to the main story) material, and by doing so, the director was able to craft an enjoyable film that focused on aspects of the story that would be a joy to watch, as opposed to going into every slight detail (like The Watchmen). While not a “faithful” adaptation, Mr. Cuaron can cause us to marvel at the beauty that can be found in even the smallest of features in the world of magic, and remind us of why this is the most successful novel series of all time.

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