Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Released in 2001, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (otherwise known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S) is the first of eight movies created which act as an adaption of the novels written by author J.K Rowling. This fantasy adventure movie directed by Chris Columbus holds a PG rating and is therefore suitable to all viewers -with the exception of younger children who may find a few scenes somewhat frightening. The movies run time stands at 2 hours and 32 minutes and the plot is that of the book, with young Harry Potter arriving at Hogwarts and encountering the challenges which come with being a famous Wizard within the Wizarding community. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson who are only beginning their journey into the magical world of Hogwarts, much like their characters Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Similar to the book by which the film is an adaptation of, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone begins with young Harry being dropped off at the doorstep of his Aunt and Uncle’s house in Privet Drive, Surrey. This scene allows for an introduction of four of the main characters within the Potter universe: Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore, Hagrid and – of course – Harry himself! The introductory scene creates a sense of wonder and magic not five minutes in and provides context for the audience as to allow them to understand enough in order for the scene of young Harry being left on the doorstep to make sense. It is a highly emotional scene both visually and due to the soundtrack score used throughout.
Throughout the rest of the movie, both the editing of scenes and the choice of soundtrack help to both create an atmosphere true to the scene and is also used to trick the viewer into believing a particular event is about to unfold or one should feel tense whilst watching a scene which really turns out to be anti-climatic. Such examples of these scenes are Hagrid’s arrival and Harry presumably about to be expelled. The sound as a whole was produced by John Williams and truly do help to add a sense of magic and wonder to the movie. In discussing the soundtracks ability to being a sense of wonder to the movie, the visuals throughout are also remarkable. The effects used and clever use of editing allow for it to seem as though the magic is truly happening and much like the book it is easy to slip into the world and forget reality.
That all said, one other thing I must congratulate the crew on is their superb choice of casting! Consider my bias but Britain truly does have talent and one need look no further than the Harry Potter movies to see such a fact is true. Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal of Harry is an eight star performance at most, as Daniel manages to capture Harry’s polite and kind nature as well as portray it across the screen wonderfully. Emma Watson also manages to bring Hermione’s character to life and effortlessly so. However, the one character belonging to the Golden Trio who I believe to truly stand out is Ron Weasley and Rupert Grint’s comedic nature is put to great use in both expressing Ron’s emotions vocally and through his facial expressions. These three young actors along with the rest of the cast featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone act out their characters so well that there really is no replacing them as the actors and actresses after even just the first movie!
Whilst it successfully brings the Wizarding World of Hogwarts to life as well as the characters which exist within the world that J.K Rowling created, there are a few aspects of the book which I believed should have featured within the movie. For this reason I am giving the movie only 5 stars. However, that doesn’t make it any less spectacular!
Here’s a few of my favourite parts:
Favourite Scene: Harry Potter standing in front of the Mirror of Erised for the first time.
Favourite Character: Ron Weasley
Favourite Quote: Hermione: “Feels strange to be going home, doesn’t it?” To which Harry replies: “I’m not going home, not really.”