Back in May, we started fixing the Harry Potter series and now we are back to finish what we started, much like Voldemort's Harry Potter vengeance. We’re completely an eight-parter; so settle in, grab enough food to last you a few weeks and call in sick from work. Let’s get ready for the ride of your life because we’re in this for the long haul...
...Actually, don’t call in sick. By the time I’ve finished with this you'll have been fired. The same goes for the settling in; you’ll have bedsores and other horrible maladies that we won’t be held responsible for. We love you reader, please don’t hurt yourself on our account.
This film is the first one to feature a new look for three different characters. Dumbledore’s is understandable as I discussed during the Chamber of Secrets. But changing Tom and Flitwick are mere aesthetic changes that don’t contribute to the remainder of the story; especially seeing as Flitwick’s appearance was changed due to him appearing in the Chamber of Secrets as the choir master, and Tom the Barman’s transformation is never mentioned. The reason behind it is probably due to the film makers being unable to get the original actor back, also. Neither part was that big in the first film, but still, it would be nice to keep the continuity going.
The revelation towards the end of the film (where the trio discover the truth behind Sirius’ capture and escape, and the real reason why Harry’s parents died) Pettigrew is transformed back into his human form, and appears to have a case of Magic Pants. When he is transformed into a human, he is fully clothed, but when he escapes, his clothes remain on the floor. This is an anachronism compared with the rest of the films, where everyone else morphs between their shapes wearing their clothes.
On the topic of the Marauder’s Map, it is never explained who Moony (spelt Mooney as a reference to the film’s visual effects supervisor), Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are. We know them to be James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. But it is never mentioned in the film. It is implied that Lupin knows how to use the map by wiping it before he hands it back to Harry at the end of the year. It would have been very easy to explain who the four were during the scene in the Shrieking Shack. At one point, Black exclaims that the Map doesn’t lie. It would have been very easy to have him say something akin to “That’s not how we wrote it” as an aside after the outburst. It could have also been mentioned by Lupin as he is handing it back, saying “This was James’. I know he would have wanted you to have it.” The addition of that line of dialogue clears up some of the questions asked, and also lets Harry know that friends of his parents are still out there, and are looking out for him.
Finally, we reach the scene of the lakeside battle against the Dementors. Harry from the present tries and fails to fight them off, before future Harry comes along and uses his Patronus to drive off the Dementor attack. The Patronus is a stag, as written in the books, but instead of charging down the Dementor’s it pulses light out towards them and sends them flying. Again, we see a distinct difference in directing styles, when (in the fifth film) we see Harry’s Patronus actually charging down the Dementors. It looks a lot more dramatic than in the third film, though it may have been due to CGI limitations at the time. We’re also treated to a shot of Harry falling unconscious and seeing his ‘father’ illuminated by the light of the Patronus. However, the shot is very dim. The audience are treated to a very dark silhouette of a character, with no defining features whatsoever. A slightly better lit shot would allow the audience to see the similarities between Harry and his saviour, and begin to draw their own conclusions as to who it could be.
Phew, three down, five to go. Next week, we reach the halfway point of our saga. See you then.
Before I go, does the Giant Squid get mentioned at all during the films? It’s a bit of world building that makes the entire world more fantastical, but it would have been fun to see a tentacle rise out of the lake when the First years are crossing the lake, or during the final battle in the final film, a giant is seen getting pounded by a tentacle like Loki by the Hulk in The Avengers. It would be quite a sight to see.
Make sure you check out Graham’s treatment of Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets!