Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ★★★★½

I don’t know why i keep coming back to this particular film. Maybe because it’s the only part in the series that feels actually real? Maybe because it’s the only “good” adaptation of a mediocre series of books?* Maybe because it’s the only Harry Potter movie that works on more than just the surface level? Well, it’s probably all of the above.

* I know i’m going to get a lot of flak for this, but i never found the Harry Potter books to be particularly great. Sure, they presented us a fascinating world with loads of potentially interesting charactes and an intriguing premise – and that’s all the first book (and film) really was: a stepping stone into this fantastic world. But they never became more than that. For part one in a series, that’s fine. The remaining books, however (and as a consequence, the remaining films), never lived up to this set-up and instead became more and more convoluted, character arcs went nowhere or were bent because the plot demanded it, and things got introduced that turned the established rules upside down. To me it is clear that J. K. Rowling went into writing these books without a masterplan and wrote herself into a corner numerous times.

Having said all that, imagine my surprise when The Prisoner of Azkaban turned out to be such a magnificent film!