This is the fifth installment of the Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) movie franchise based on the book by the same name. In this movie, we watch as things are just getting darker and darker for our young hero. Summer is bleak and dry and very hot, too hot for Little Whinging in Surrey. This is where Dudley (Harry Melling) realizes just how hard things are for his wizarding cousin when the boys are attacked by Dementors, the black, hooded guards of Azkaban Prison that feed on everything positive from their victims, leaving them with cold sadness. As the attack happens, Harry does an Patronus spell to bring out the protector spirit that will repel the Dementors. The spell is successful, but one muggle other than Dudley sees it, but this muggle is actually a squibb, Mrs. Figg (Kathryn Hunter), Harry’s old babysitter.
They rush Dudley back to the Dursley’s house, and there Harry received an actual voice mail from the Ministry of Magic about a hearing. He has been charged with using magic outside of school. Underage magic-casting is against the law in the Wizarding world, but it is a minor offense. While the Dursley’s gloat about the situation, several wizards show up via portkey at Harry’s home to collect Harry. They are just part of The Order of the Pheonix. Nymphadora Tonks (Natalia Tena),
Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody (Brendan Gleeson), Kingsley Shacklebolt (George Harris), Elphias Doge (Peter Cartwright), Emmeline Vance (Brigitte Millar), Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams), and Remus Lupin (David Thewlis). Without giving the Dursleys any time to protest, they whisk Harry away to prepare him for his hearing, and soon he flying over the Thames with them via broomsticks to Sirius Black’s home, which is hidden with a muggle flats building.
He finds Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) there, and his friends, Ron (Rupert Gint), Hermione (Emma Watson), Fred (James Phelps), George (Oliver Phelps), and Ginny (Bonnie Wright) are there, but the kids have all been sent upstairs to rest while the grown-ups devise a strategy for Harry’s trial. This begins the new trials and tribulations of a magical world now living in doubt, fear, and denial about one of their own darkest and most dangerous wizards, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Albus Dumbledore (Micheal Gambon) comes to the trial to defend Harry, but Harry never really gets to speak with him. On the other hand, we hear far too much from Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), a Grandma Barbie witch that loves everything pink and fluffy. Her heart is made of the cold stuff served at Tea Party meetings, and when she gets her hooks into Hogwarts, things get really scary.
From making even more new friends, pursuing a romance with Cho Chang (Katie Leung), to teaching students a new approach to dealing with dark magic since the Ministry’s approved class is useless, to dealing with the press pushing all its spin against him, Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts is stressful at best, and…. well, there really is no way to describe the worst. If you’ve read the books, you know where things will lead, and you should enjoy the movies anyway. We here at Musings never really tire of them, and even the worst of the lot, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, has its great moments. Like Ollivander (John Hurt) said in describing Voldemort, “Great things, terrible! but great…”
I give this film a Musing review of