Man, I really don’t want to do the Harry Potter Movies. It’s too predictable you know… But of course, I cannot deny that one point in my life, I was a massive Potterhead and might be still.
As an aftermath of watching Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, which is set in the same cinematic universe as the Harry Potter movies but like 60-70 years before. I found myself returning home to the wizarding world of fantasy and imaginative story once more.
YES. I binged watch all the eight films. And No, I don’t regret it. 🙂
Now, I’m going to tell you about the fantastic and, in my opinion, the best one in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I might have to state my remark here that the best-in-my-opinion might not be my favorite one. Okay? But it is a great movie as a whole and tells great stories with insanely touching messages.
(For those weird people that for some reason haven’t seen this film yet.)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban tells a story of Harry Potter in his third year at Hogwarts. As usual, the life of ‘the Boy who Lived’ has always been risky, but this year is different. Rumor has it that Sirius Black, a maniac dark wizard who betrayed Harry’s parents, broke out of Azkaban, the most heavily guarded wizarding prison in Europe, and he is on a search for Harry’s life.
And since this movie is so good. I am planning on having the analysis in two parts. Don’t forget to check out part two next week!
No longer a childish movie.
All Harry Potter movies have some touch of darkness during the adventurous Third Act of the film. But the first two both have more of a cheerful and fantasy tone of a children movie. On the other hand, Prisoner of Azkaban has abandoned its Childish tone completely since the very first scene.
From turning a family member into a balloon-human and let her loose, running away from home, got stalked by a scary hound, being chased by a psycho killer and meeting a dementor. I remember the first time watching it, I thought I was watching a horror movie.
Don’t get me wrong, Harry Potter is still a fantastic franchise for teenagers to grow up with. I really like that they think it’s important to point out to the audience what life really is.
Life is about growing up.
And the Prisoner of Azkaban emphasizes that notion pretty well. It shifts its tone from just an 11 years old heroic fantasy to teenage anxiety and dilemma with a grimmer tone. This transition from children to teenagers in the film makes the franchise almost alive, as it feels like it is growing with time.
Just like the franchise, life means growing up too. And as we grow up, there will come times when we have to be separated from people around us, our friends and our family. There will be some responsibilities that we have to take care of alone. There will be some deepest fears that we need to get over. And this film surely prepared my younger self of that situation.
The beautiful cinematography
If to compare to the other 7 films, I think Prisoner of Azkaban has the most beautify pictures with more detailed style. With Harry Potter being considered a fantasy children movie, it was not even necessary to put as much detail into the cinematography of the film. At least not as much as the CGI and sound effects. I’m not saying that it’s not important. It’s just that most children movies don’t care enough to do so. But Prisoner of Azkaban has already shifted its tone. That’s why the use of metaphors, camera angles, and shooting style can play a great role in storytelling. And it did so perfectly.
The moving camera shots were used to create suspense. The face shots of Harry separated from other characters in the Background create the feeling of isolation and upcoming fights that Harry has to go through alone in the franchise. There are also some foreshadowing shots being used which are not in the book, but were used just to strengthen the film itself.
Going against your own fear
One of the most important themes of this one is to conquer your fear and be brave. A scene in Harry’s Defense against the Dark Arts class shows Lupin teaching the class how to defeat A Boggart, a shape-shifting being that takes form of a person’s worst fear.
Now, according to the class, the only way to defeat a Boggart is to think of the funniest thing for you and cast ‘Riddikulus’ directly to it. Professor Lupin said that just the spell alone cannot defeat a Boggart. A person needs a lot of concentration and bravery, as well as a fun memory to fight of the scariest object in their imagination.
How does this relate to us? The spell ‘Riddikulus’ is, obviously, from the world ridiculous. The main message of this whole Boggart thing is to reach the audience that when confronted with their deepest fear, one should think about their most precious and fun memory and just make fun of that fear.
Yes. Why busy having anxiety about your fear? It would only make things worse. In turn, you should strengthen your mind with the happiest memory and fight off those fears.
From now on, when you are confronted with fear, just stand up straight and shout ‘Riddikulus’! Hahahaha. Trust me! Worked every time. 😉