Harry Potter – The Third Instalment

Sirius Black: is he evil or is he good?


The story starts with Harry at the Dursley’s house while Aunt Marge is visiting, which always includes her insulting Harry. Finally Harry erupts but so does Aunt Marge – she erupts into an ever-increasingly fatter version of herself until she floats like a balloon all around Surrey.

After this Harry leaves. He has a mysterious encounter with a dog but before you know it, the Night Bus appears from nowhere and suddenly he experiencing the extremely wild driving of a London Red Double-decker bus driver. He ‘drives’ him to Leaky Cauldron to meet the Minister of Magic and then he has a chat with Mr Weasley who tells him how dangerous Sirius Black is.

This film marks the start of a new Dumbledore, after the sad death of Richard Harris, who did a fantastic job of playing a gentle and intelligent Dumbledore. The new Dumbledore is played by Michael Gambon, makes Dumbledore slightly Irish and slightly mad but in a sweet way. He also comes across as firm and strong in his beliefs.

We are introduced to the Dementors whose form was challenging to create because no one knows what they look like under their cloaks or how they move, so it’s difficult to get a clear picture of them. The director Alfonso Cauron did an amazing job of putting the description from the book into the film. He had a very original approach because he started with puppetry and not visual effects. As puppets are difficult to move around a lot so, he put them into water which gave them that eiree aspect. He interprets the Dementors as laid back creatures in a slow but suspenseful way. The fact that we never see what is behind the cloak is mysterious and terrifying because it leaves your imagination running wild with ideas. The idea of the Dementors encompasses a nightmare that is mysterious, unkown and horrific.

The Hippogriff: Buckbeak is an amazing hybrid creature which has very human qualities to it, for example you have to treat it with respect or it will unleash its vicousness on you, as Malfoy soon finds out. It cares for others as most humans do, which comes in useful to Harry and Hermione. The film-makers actually created the creature from scratch, so the actors could have something to relate to. They show you exactly how the creature was made on the extras. It was not only made as a prop but also on CGI, which was very interesting to see how they initially created a soft, playful puppy-like personality for it, but then the director decided to make the Hippogriff into a stroppy teenager.

Overall this is my favourite film because there are so many new elements introduced, for example Buckbeak and the Dementors. There is also a depth to the story which makes it compelling to watch, and so many everyday situations that people can relate to.

© 2011 Emily Claire Cannings

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