Run time: 2 Hours 38 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Harry Potter is a young boy who grows up with his horrible extended family the Dursleys. Harry is completely unaware that he is in fact a wizard and not only that but a famous wizard who was given the name “The Boy Who Lived” after surviving the attempted murder by Lord Voldemort who also killed Harry’s parents. Harry learns all this when one day a wizard named Hagrid comes to take Harry to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is ecstatic that he finally gets to leave the Dursleys as he is whisked away to Hogwarts where he’ll make some new friends, enemies and go on an adventure.
In this first Harry Potter film, our characters consist of our titular Harry Potter, and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. After the death of his parents, Harry lives with his non-magical uncle and aunt. Eventually, he finds out he’s a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts. Ron is the sixth son of the poor Weasley family. He is brave and loyal. Hermione is from a Muggle family. Although she has no magical background, she is naturally talented and smart.
This film right here is what introduced me to the Harry Potter franchise as I remember being sick at home one day and my parents decided to show me this film. I was blown away; I still remember that I was completely enthralled with the whole idea of this story. The characters are introduced just as well as they are in the book with Harry, Ron, and Hermione being nearly identical to their book counterparts. For being so young Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson do a really great job portraying their characters and making them just as iconic as the book version. The adult cast brings these films to another level with Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, and Richard Harris they each knew exactly what to do with the roles. The story is the same as well though with less emphasis on the day-to-day Hogwarts life for a more focused storyline that keeps the film tighter overall. One of the things that makes this film so great is just how this world is brought to life. From Diagon Alley to Gringotts, to the Quidditch Pitch, and to Hogwarts the filmmakers managed to translate these amazing locations and ideas from the book and put them on the screen while either making them look exactly as people imagined or creating the now-iconic looks and locations. The score done by John Williams is so iconic and now forever attached with the franchise and “Hedwig’s Theme” is one of the most well-known pieces of film music ever composed. This film has become as iconic as the book and added to make the books and series as a whole more widely known.
All in all, this is a fantastic film that was my introduction to my favourite franchise of all time! I definitely recommend you watch this whether for the first time or if it’s been a while it’s a great time and a great start to an amazing series.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
The chess scene is my favourite scene as I think it is the perfect mix of action and tension. I also feel that the music in this scene does a great job of showing the intensity. It also gives Ron a great moment to shine as well as showing an important conversation between Harry and Hermione.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone is the first of eight movies, and it starts the series well. With some awesome characters, a great story, and Hogwarts, this is a great movie. Now I can’t give this movie too much credit for the characters or the story because both of those stem from the book, but if you have never read it, The Philosopher’s Stone develops them quite nicely. I’ve always loved Hogwarts and the way it was set up, so seeing it in visual form was super cool. I thought the visuals of the castle were awesome, and some of the other effects were really well done. Seeing as most beasts were CGI, I thought the attention to detail was really special. We also don’t see any glaring plot holes from book to movie which goes a long way towards making this really good.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are such great characters, and experiencing their growing relationship in a new medium is great. They are fairly different characters with a few common experiences, and they hinge on each other for everything. They would be pretty darn static characters alone, but together they are a great trio. I love that it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows between the group, and they fight over silly things as 11-year-olds do.
Speaking of age, the plot of The Philosopher’s stone is a little bit intense if you think too hard about the age of our characters, but I thought it was really well done. This is a pretty long movie for the times, and it does slow for a bit, but I thought it was really well-formed to keep you engaged. The entertainment value is always high, and the ups and downs are bound to keep you occupied.
Overall, this isn’t better than the book but it’s still a good movie. The Philosopher’s Stone is set up to be enjoyed by fans of the series and newcomers alike. Whether you have seen this one time or 15 times, it’s a great movie worthy of another watch.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
The best part of this movie has to be Quidditch. The visuals are incredible, and the atmosphere around Hogwarts is so much fun. The way Quidditch is melded into the plot was great, and the sport is impossible to entertain.
The Philosopher’s Stone was a great adaptation from the novel version. Between the two, there weren’t many changes or differences, which I really enjoyed. This movie also captured the magic feel of the novel.
When it comes to negatives, this movie doesn’t really do anything wrong. I guess the only thing I didn’t enjoy as much was the length of the movie. Being so close to the novel, most of the book was featured in The Philosopher’s Stone. There were some moments that felt too slow and lost some of my attention.
On the other hand, there were plenty of aspects that I enjoyed about The Philosopher’s Stone. For one, the atmosphere was perfect. It had the mystical and magical feel that any new witch or wizard would feel. The world building was also nice, since the locations really drew me in to this world. Besides the setting, I enjoyed the casting of all the roles. The actors for the main three and Hagrid felt really close to what I imagined them to be. After reading the novel, there are definitely easter eggs for those who know the series, but for those just getting into Harry Potter, this was also a great starting point. Unlike the LEGO game, The Philosopher’s Stone assumes that you have no prior experience with the series. As a result, it can be enjoyed by new and old fans alike.
Overall, this was a solid entry into the movie world. The Philosopher’s Stone features a fun cast, interesting plot, and creative settings. The wonder and mystical nature of the magical world is conveyed perfectly, and it was fun to see book characters brought to life. Definitely recommend giving it a watch for both new and old fans everywhere.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
In the Philosopher’s Stone, my favourite moment was when Hagrid delivers Harry’s letter personally. I enjoyed his interactions with the Dursleys and I loved seeing the fear in all their eyes from both bending the shotgun and giving Dudley a tail.