This is the first movie blog post for Kim’s Harry Potter Blogsplosion, so where better to start than with the first movie. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was an excellent movie, and it got viewers excited for the series of movies that would be made after this one. Starring (at the time unknowns) Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint as the trio of heroes Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, this movie of wizards and witchcraft tells a story that people of all ages will love.
At age 11 , Harry Potter doesn’t really know about his past. He lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin who all treat him like a piece of dirt. They force him to do all of the errands around the house, on top of making him live in a little cupboard underneath the stairs. On his cousin’s birthday and a trip to the zoo, Harry begins to realize that he has the powers to make things happen just by thinking about them. There is no explanation for how this occurs; only that Harry can somehow cause physical changes in his environment by merely thinking about them hard enough. At the zoo he helps a python escape, while trapping his cousin in the snake’s cage. After this event it is revealed that Harry is in fact a wizard, and is then invited to attend the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Initially his aunt and uncle balk at the suggestion, but after some convincing by Hagrid, the groundskeeper of the school, they agree to let him go. Hagrid takes Harry under his wing and informs Harry about some of his past and who his parents were. While on the train he meets two other new students, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and the trio become fast friends. They then meet Draco Malfoy, who is less than pleasant to them. While at the school Harry and his friends learn more about Harry’s parents and learn more about the powers they hold and how truly powerful they can be. They learn of a break-in at a nearby wizarding bank, and they begin to try to solve the mystery themselves. Can they make any progress under the threat of expulsion after less than one year at school?
The movie itself is highly entertaining. The plot is highly imaginative and in my opinion really makes the book (written by J. K. Rowling) come to life. As I was watching the movie, I truly believed in magic and truly believed that there is a school in England where students learn witchcraft. The way the movie was filmed was very magical and very out of this world. The director, Christopher Columbus, shot the movie in a very interesting style. He made the real world of England very dark and dreary by including a lot of gray and dark tones. In contrast to that, Hogwarts was always shot in a very colorful and vibrant light, making it seem more magical. The colors really popped out and really reflected Harry’s attitude: clearly he wasn’t happy being treated the way he was in his ordinary “muggle” life, but really became his own person and more true to himself at Hogwarts.
The acting was top-notch, especially given that the majority of the cast was so young. I’m not saying that young actors aren’t good, but they were all relatively unknown before the movie was shot, and they were all able to carry this big movie with many high expectations beautifully. One performance in particular that impressed me was Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. She played the brainy side-kick to Ron and Harry very well, and really stole the scenes she was in. Also Alan Rickman as Professor Snape was a standout as well, as he adds the quality of a good mysterious character to the movie and really adds to the sense of the unknown and foreboding in the movie.
All and all, the movie was a highly entertaining piece of work. I was as entertained watching the movie as a 25-year-old as I was when I first saw it at 15. I really enjoyed the acting, the direction, and the amazing world of wizarding that came to life. Like always, I leave you with a question: do you believe in magic?
4 out of 5 stars
Until next time, happy viewing.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
G, 152 Minutes