Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
1. One of the major themes of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is betrayal. The film begins with the escape of the supposedly dangerous Sirius Black, who allegedly betrayed Harry’s parents by letting Lord Voldemort know where they were hiding. Armed with this information, Harry promises to kill Sirius to avenge his parents. However after learning that it was actually Peter Pettigrew, Harry quickly realizes that Sirius is one of the few people who was close with his parents and he was actually named Harry’s godfather. Another interesting “betrayal” that occurs is at the end of the film when they are set to bring Peter Pettigrew to the dementors, but Lupin turns into a werewolf which allows Pettigrew to escape. It is as if Lupin’s werewolf side “betrayed” his human side because the transformation allowed Pettigrew to escape and caused Black to go into hiding.
2. The novel has a lot of interesting themes many of which are seen throughout the seven part series, and one such theme is loyalty to your friends. We see countless examples of this in Azkaban, from Ron and Hermione staying in touch with Harry over the summer, sticking by him after his Quidditch accident, Harry going after Ron when Sirius dragged him into the Weeping Willow, and there are numerous other examples as well. At the end of the day, Rowling emphasizes the overall importance of friendship in getting through everything that life throws your way. I do not see how this would be a problematic theme to portray in a film, especially considering that each novel/film is about the adventures of these three friends.
3. http://www.robwillreview.com/?p=6340  Interesting movie review, because the author starts off by describing how the movie strays slightly from the novel but it’s still a great adaptation of the book.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/commentaries/2011/potterjesusme.htmlv –> Really cool review of the book, compares reading the first chapter of a Harry Potter book to boarding the Hogwarts Express and the author also sees parallels between Harry Potter’s story and Jesus Christ.
http://www.harrypotterxl.com/motifs-stories/
I found this blog to be helpful for understanding the film better because it outlines a few motifs that are present in almost all of the Harry Potter films. Previous to taking this course, I had seen every Harry Potter movie a few times and read the books a countless number of times, however I did not always pick up on the themes/motifs that were present. Having someone lay the themes out for you, and explain them to you makes watching the movie a much more rewarding experience because you have a deeper understanding of the novel and film.

4. The way to defeat a boggart is to turn it into a figure of fun, using the spell “Riddikulus!” In a similar way, how does the film use comedy to keep our darkest fears at bay? Does this make the film escapist entertainment?
I do not believe that the film is “escapist entertainment,” rather the film shows people of all ages that if you persevere and always believe in yourself, you can confront and overcome even your biggest fears. In the film Harry admits to Professor Lupin that his biggest fear is not Lord Voldemort but rather fear itself. The maturity of this answer shocks Professor Lupin, and he vows to help Harry overcome his fear. After hours of practicing the Patronus charm, Harry is able to conquer his fear of dementors and he never has a problem with them again throughout the rest of the series.

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