Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book vs. Movie: Prisoner of Azkaban

So excited about this review - I love/hate talking about this topic. Seriously, the reason I decided to do book/movie comparisons. Let's get started with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Book
Without a doubt, Prisoner of Azkaban is the book in the HP series that demonstrates J.K. Rowling's ability to have her characters and prose grow with her audience. I've often told people beginning the series to start with PoA, if they can't get into SS. (With all the summing up at the beginning of the first novels, this is totally ok). I love the mystery of PoA - while mystery is huge part of each book, this one seems even more intense. As we learn more and more about Harry's parents and their history with Sirius and Lupin - the story gets better and better. I mean, getting the Marauders in this novel, makes it the best of the first three. On top of that, we have time travel (always a favorite on this site), tidbits (like Scabbers and Fred and George knowing all the passages and that motorbike from Ch. 1 of SS), and a poor, confused, desperately lost Harry. He just wants to go to Hogsmede like everyone else! What's wrong with that? We see the beginning of angry Harry in PoA (starting with Aunt Marge) and we start to see how much he really does have to be angry about. 
I think another favorite in this story is how we see Ron and Hermione step it up - they both are there with Harry when he confronts Sirius - this hasn't happened before. They went through the trap door, Ron went down the pipe, but this time they are both there in the big scary moment with him. And they're heroes - just as much as Harry. LOVE IT! It also helps that this is also the book you start to get little hints of romantic feelings between Ron and Hermione - the fighting, oh the fighting. So stinkin' adorable! I also happen to think Crookshanks is pretty awesome - what with figuring Sirius out and everything. 

The Movie
We have reached my entire reason for creating this topic of study within the Potterverse. Ahh, my feelings for PoA. How to say it, let's see... I'm actually incapable of watching most of this movie? I have to stop the movie 20 minutes before the end? I hate freakin' talking heads? Yeah, I don't like PoA - at ALL. The only good things I see - the addition of Dawn French, the prettiness factor (it is very artsy and pretty, sure), and the acting ability of the trio improved. That is it. Everything else pretty much sucks. Well, I didn't hate the Aunt Marge bit, that was actually funny. This movie, in no way, measured up to the book. I thought for years, this must be because the first two so closely followed the book and the third movie just didn't do the same. But then I saw the other movies - that wasn't the problem - the other movies didn't follow every line and I'm ok with them. It is the lack of explaining - seriously, we can add freakin' talking heads on the Knight Bus, but we can't take like two seconds to explain the Marauders - what the hell? I have literally yelled at the TV about this topic. I now just don't watch the last twenty minutes. And we don't end with getting on the train - I call foul play! Not allowed! Stupid move! Don't like it at all! 

One of the things I did like about the movie was the depiction of Sirius on the posters, etc - I thought those were great for advertising and really creepy. 

So many issues, but my largest complaint has to be the Marauder story line being completely messed up. In the book, we found out through multiple sources who each of the Marauders were and what their relationships were with one another. The scene at Christmas was so well done in the book, but in the movie that scene between the adults was so forced and awful - even Maggie Smith couldn't make it better. By the end of the scene with Pettigrew, Sirius, and Lupin we knew who everyone was, the origin of the map, etc - in the movie, basically nothing. We also had no idea why Harry's patronus was a stag - this seemed like something that could have been corrected very easily. Come on! 

My Big Whiny Complaint: 
I feel like I've done enough complaining, but I think this kinda goes into the next movies as well - I think they could have worked out a way to truly explain the Marauders in the next movies, but they didn't think it was necessary. All of those characters are huge roles in the book, but in the movies I feel like they are put off. 


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