Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Harry Potter is with Dursleys for the summer, learning to do more spells, and awaits an imminent visit from Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge. Harry loses his temper when Marge insults his family, and unintentionally causes her to inflate and float away. Harry flees, as he expects to be punished for performing magic outside of school. The Knight Bus appears and takes Harry to the Leaky Cauldron where Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge tells Harry he will not be expelled. Harry learns that Sirius Black, who is said to be a supporter of Lord Voldemort, has escaped from Azkaban and that Black will likely come after him.

Harry journeys to Hogwarts with his best friends Ron and Hermione. On the train of Hogwarts Express, they share a compartment with the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, who is sleeping when they enter the compartment. Abruptly, the Hogwarts Express is stopped and a Dementor boards, searching for Black. Harry faints when the Dementor enters their compartment, but Lupin awakens and repels the Dementor after hearing a woman-like scream. At school, Albus Dumbledore informs the Hogwarts students that the Dementors have been set as a guard around the school grounds as a protection against Black. In addition to Lupin, Hagrid is announced as the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. Lupin’s lessons prove enjoyable; he teaches useful spells and helps less confident students like Neville. However Hagrid’s class does not go to plan; on the first day, Draco Malfoy deliberately provokes the Hippogriff Buckbeak into attacking him. His father successfully has Buckbeak sentenced to death.

During a Quidditch match, several Dementors approach Harry, causing him to fall off his broomstick. Because of this Lupin teaches Harry to defend himself against Dementors with a Patronus charm. A Patronus is the opposite of a Dementor: as Dementors feed on depression and darkness, so a Patronus must be created with a happy memory. As Harry was unable to get permission to visit Hogsmeade from a Parent or Guardian, Fred and George give Harry the Marauder’s Map so that he can sneak out of the castle. At Hogsmeade, Harry overhears that Black was his godfather and his parents’ best friend. Black is said to have divulged the Potters’ secret whereabouts to Voldemort and murdered their mutual friend Peter Pettigrew. Harry vows to kill Black, but is later astonished when he sees Pettigrew’s name on the map.

In Divination class, Professor Trelawney enters a trance and predicts that the Dark Lord’s servant will return to Harry that night. Harry, Ron and Hermione visit Hagrid to console him over Buckbeak’s impending execution and discover Scabbers, who had been missing earlier that year. Just then Fudge, Dumbledore and an executioner visit Hagrid’s to carry out Buckbeak’s execution (which the trio watch sadly), when Scabbers suddenly bites Ron and escapes. While the trio is chasing Scabbers, a large dog drags both Ron and his rat, Scabbers, into a hole at the base of the Whomping Willow before Harry could get to them. The Whomping Willow attacks Harry and Hermione but Hermione uses the swinging willow branches to their advantage. Harry and Hermione follow, to the Shrieking Shack. It turns out the dog is the Animagus form of Sirius Black. Harry attacks Sirius and takes him to the ground, but before he can do anything, Lupin arrives, disarms Harry, and embraces Sirius as an old friend. After being confronted by Hermione, Lupin admits to being a werewolf. And at this moment Snape appears, planning to catch Black and Lupin and hand them over to the Dementors, but is knocked out by Harry. Lupin and Black explain that Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew, who is also an Animagus, and that he is the one who did for what Black served time in Azkaban. Lupin and Sirius force Pettigrew back to his human form and then prepare to kill him, but are stopped by Harry, who tells them that it was not what James would have done. Instead, he wants to turn over Pettigrew to the Dementors. As the group head back to the castle, the full moon rises; Lupin transforms into a werewolf, which allows Pettigrew to escape. Lupin and Sirius fight in their animal forms, until Lupin is distracted by the sound of another werewolf and Dementors attack Sirius and Harry. As Sirius is about to have his soul removed, Harry sees a figure in the distance cast a powerful stag-shaped Patronus, scattering the Dementors and saving their lives. Harry believes the mysterious figure to be that of his father James.

Hermione reveals that she possesses a time-turner, which how she has been taking multiple classes at once. She and Harry travel back in time three hours, watching themselves go through the night’s events. They set Buckbeak free and return to the Whomping Willow. As the Dementors are about to attack the “other” Harry and Sirius, Harry realizes that he is the person who cast the Patronus, which gives him the confidence to do so now. Harry and Hermione rescue Sirius, who escapes on Buckbeak. At the end of the year, Lupin resigns, knowing that people will not allow a werewolf to teach their children. Later, Sirius sends Harry a Firebolt, an extremely fast racing broom.


This is the first installment of the Harry Potter series that explores his dark side. However, unlike the later films, this one still manages to keep the fun.

The dementors are totally creepy. They remind me of the ghost of Christmas future from A Christmas Carol.

It is apparent that the cast has grown up a bit, and with each other, as they feel more comfortable with each other in this film than in the previous entries.

Quite a bit was omitted in translation from the book to film, and Harry Potter purists I’m sure will not be happy about that, but putting that aside, this is still a good film.

If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love it!

4 out fo 5 stars


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