Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Blinded by the light

Director Alfonso Cuaron has made a much better fist of Prisoner of Azkaban than Chris Columbus’ primary colouring of the first two Harry Potter’s. Banking left and swooping into the darker layered side of the story, Cuaron’s direction provides the texture JK Rowling surely envisages for the tale (and curiously, rarely captures in her books).

One notable technique he introduces is a series of analogies marking the passing of time through the school year. There’s the single leaf spiralling to the floor showing the onset of autumn, the owl swooping from an autumnal vista into a bleak snowstorm depicting winter, the snow melts around a snow drop portraying the oncoming of Spring.

The most intriguing of all, however, is in the opening scene. Harry, who in the film has just turned thirteen, is in his bedroom at the Dursley’s. He’s hidden under the sheets on his bed secretly playing with his wand, each time he successfully makes it light up he gives a satisfied smile. When he’s finished playing, he lies down and falls asleep with a grin on his face.

Now what in a young boy’s life could that be referring to?


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