On The Big Screen Reviews

Looking Back…Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

When it was announced that the beloved books of Harry Potter were going to be made into films, many rejoiced. After all, how exciting was it going to be to see the magical world of J.K. Rowlings creation come to life right before your eyes? A pandemonium was lit and it has been a fire storming inside all of us. Piles of children went into auditions with only a luckily few coming out with a part, Hogwarts was given life and a collection of wonderful British actors were pooled together in order to spell bind us all. Director Chris Columbus was in charge of being the first person to adapt our favourite wizard to the big screen.

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The Philosopher’s Stone is the beginning of Harry Potter, a young 12 year old boy who is mistreated by his Aunt and Uncle Dursley, having to live with them after the death of his parents. When a mysterious letter arrives for him, Harry Potter is curious but his fierce family refuse to let him open them. It turns out, Harry Potter is a wizard and he must complete a magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But there are sinister forces a foot. Harry must not only adjust to his new life as a wizard but he must face an evil force called Voldemort; the man who killed his parents so long ago.

Now we can look back at The Philosopher’s Stone and scoff, laugh and giggle. Unfairly, the first segment has been given the “naff” treatment and people choose to focus on the negatives rather on the positives. Ok, so maybe the child acting here isn’t the best but Watson, Radcliffe and Grint were fresh to the movie business with all earnestness and determination. It’s not like they were bad but they just weren’t polished.

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But, in all fairness, Columbus did a spectacular job of bringing the words of Rowling to life. Honestly, on first watch, you ignore the bad points because you are so immersed in a world where chocolate frogs leaped about, pictures moved and you could be magical. Hogwarts, an important literary building was now real, with little kiddie winks bouncing spells off its walls. There was a strong adult cast who wore robes and turned into cats. Richard Harris was completely and utterly Dumbledore, the wise and wonderful headmaster.

Whenever you watch Philosopher’s Stone, think about this adaptation that Columbus has given us. He opened our eyes in a colourful way and kick started this whole series into motion. The reason we have the Warner Brother’s Tour, the shops and more is because of this movie. It’s full of adventure, innocence and a phenomenal score, so just enjoy it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out now! 
Read our review! 

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