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09 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)


Directed by:Chris Columbus
Screenplay by: Steven Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Family,
Runtime: 142 Minutes

To begin with I want to say I am a huge Potter fan and It’s one of my favourite movie franchises. There are barely people out their today who don’t know the name Harry Potter, despite if they haven’t read the books or watching the films. For better for worse the series has been very successful and all the films are good. They get darker as they go along and the story unravels between films 1 and 6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone is an excellent entry into the world of wizards, witchcraft, broomsticks and a giant school in a castle called Hogwarts. The Harry Potter films have such a brilliant story, and I give huge credit of course to writer J.K Rowling. Her heart and soul truly went into this film during her hard times in the late 90’s. I have read the books 1-3 and absolutely loved them, although to keep the cinematic experience for the final film I am not touching the Deathly Hallows book. One thing to note for the films is their originality. I give high credit to director Chris Columbus for doing an excellent job in putting the film in order, and the screenplay is very true to the book.

Plot
For those that are not familiar [highly unlikely] Harry is known as 'the boy that lived' from a dark evil wizard by the name of Voldemort when he was just an infant. Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, Hagrid and the other teachers of Hogwarts leave him off at his closest relatives, his uncle and aunt – who might I add are evil and mean people- . At the age of 11 Harry is revisited by Hagrid and is taken to Hogwarts. This is where he learns all about wizardry and why he is there.

The Amazing Cast and Characters
I give great credit to Rowling for her wonderfully eccentric and amazing characters in the film. It seemed the casting was perfect. Daniel Radcliffe seems almost born for the role and you really can’t imagine anyone else playing the round glasses wearing Potter. Then we have Hagrid played by Robbie Coltrane who is a 7 foot giant - who in real life is about 6 foot 2- , but wears stilts during filming. Hagrid is such a wonderful character. Despite his size, he is one of the gentlest characters in the story, making him very lovable.

Now we can’t forget about Harry’s great friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Grainger (Emma Watson). Again they are fit for the roles and even here, in their decade ago youth give a very warm and vibrant performance. There are loads of characters in the story just starting with this film, so one other I will speak of is Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). I remember the first time I ever watched this film, roughly 8 years ago and just remembering the chilling presence of Snape. When he enters the room, with his recognisable and distinct voice he looks like he’s going to explode. Overall the first Harry Potter film has some of the finest acting and characters a film could ask for. It still amazes me today to look back at young Radcliffe, Watson and Grint because as for the two boys, it is the only film their voices are still high pitched and the 3 look so young.


The Wizard world
Until the first Potter book was conceived by Rowling, all other with and wizard stories where very different from this. I think the Potter franchise is a leap into the whole magic kind of thing and it does it perfectly with originality and recreates the image of magic. From whomping willows (seen in the second film) to giant three headed dogs within school walls, the whole Potter universe is amazing.

Now the visuals where something I definitely loved, and I’m not just talking about how the CGI looks. All the sets and architecture where so wonderfully believable and where very unique and the first thing to point out is the magnitude of the Hogwarts castle. It really looks like something that’s been there for a somewhat thousand years and it’s just colossal. The interior sets of the castle are also equally brilliant and all the set designs and visuals in the film bring you into the magical world.

A great adaption
Since 2001 of this films début, we have had several book-to-film films. Some have failed and some are okay, and one bad one to begin with is Eragon. I think screenplay writer, Steve Kloves did an amazing job of adapting it to screen because after reading the book, only one initial chapter is skipped in the film and it doesn’t affect the film’s flow. Although I read the book after seeing the film I could really see why it got a film.

Overall:
So it’s been a decade since the film came out, and I just had to review it. This is an updated review also to note. The story is soon coming to an end with Deathly Hallows part 2 and is the reason I want to get all the films reviewed and watched before so. I own all the films on DVD (excluding part 2 duh). I think it’s purely an excellent film and it was beautifully produced. It has a great cast of actors, wonderful and colossal visuals, and it his striking originality.

My Rating: 8.5/10


3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this one very much but I thought the ending was in a way very weak. I agree with Radcliffe being born to play the role. It was meant to be. Awesome review Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  2. hello, i'd like to request permission for the use of the photos you've uploaded on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone..? If you could get back to me as soon as possible that would be super. Please and thank you ! Missy
    contact details: missy-maybe@hotmail.co.nz

    ReplyDelete
  3. yeha sure, no problem at all :)

    ReplyDelete

 

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