Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone movie review

This first installment of the Harry Potter series was released in 2001. I hadn't read the book by then as I was only 7 years of age. However I remember the excitement of going to see the movie in the cinema. Harry Potter was one of the many books my Mother read us before bed. So I heard the story I just didn't appreciate it as much as I do now.

The Philosopher's Stone was directed by Chris Columbus. Based on the book by J.K Rowling. The movie is about a young boy who has suffered a tragic past who finds out on his eleventh birthday that he is in fact a Wizard. His Parents were killed by the evil wizard by the name of Lord Voldemort. For eleven years Harry has been living with his aunt,uncle and cousin at number 4 Privet drive. The relatives Harry lives with despise him with every fiber of their being and it is not an understatement to say that to Harry the feeling is mutual. On his eleventh birthday a Half-Giant called Hagrid gives him a letter inviting him to study at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry.  Harry jumps at the chance to get away from his horrid relatives. He soon learns that
his stupid relatives are the least of his worries.

Life doesn't get easier for Harry at Hogwarts. Where he has things that he never had before such as friends and a place to call home.
J.K Rowling sold the film rights of the first four films to Warner Bros in 1999 for £10000. One of Rowling's conditions was that they keep the principle cast strictly British. 

The movie starts with a dark privet drive and Albus Dumbledore (Headmaster of Hogwarts), Professor McGonagall and Hagrid leaving Harry on the doorstep of number 4 privet drive the night Voldemort killed his parents. The Introductory scenes show how Harry starts to make things happen unexpectedly such as making a glass containing a Boa constrictor vanish setting the snake on the rest of the zoo. Not long after this specific incident Harry ( Dan Radcliffe) starts to get letters inviting him to Hogwarts. Uncle Vernon however knew what these meant and tried his best to prevent Harry from reading them. He tried everything from burning the letters to moving away from their house. However moving away just meant that Hagrid tracks them down on Harry's birthday and pays them an unexpected visit. He explains the truth of who Harry was and what actually happened to Harry's parents to a very confused and slightly scared Harry.

The movie was very entertaining and a good way to kick back. This was Harry's first year and in a way our as the viewers first years as well. One thing I enjoyed was the forming of the friendship of the trio (Harry,Ron and Hermione). The cast choices made in my opinion were pretty good. Alan Rickman as Severus Snape has to be one of favorites. I would say that this movie is not really fit for children at some points but then again I remember that 6 year old children watch this and don't wince at all. Its as the series gets darker the age restriction gets higher. It was a great way to start a great series of movies. 

I give it 8 out of 10

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