Yes, I am a big Harry Potter fan. I love the books by J.K. Rowling but I also appreciate the movies. The first movie, HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was directed by Chris Columbus. It is definitely a children’s movie, but it has some very important life morals, a magical storyline and fabolous settings. An original experience that must be savoured.
Most probably, if you like it or not, you have read the first book in the series. The story is about a young special boy Harry. He finds out that he is a wizard and so he can go to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. His adventures start there with his two best friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint).
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone knows like no other movie to create an entire visual world of itself. Hogwarts and its mystical creatures are breathtaking one by one. The moment Hagrid is introduced you know all the fun has started.
Besides the famous trio, there are also many others. Since this is the first movie in a series long to come, there isn’t any definite storyline. Instead Columbus chose for brief, stereotypical but passionate introductions. Ron loves food, Hermione likes studying and Harry needs to figure it all out. Indeed, a very familiar tone.
That means there is not much development to the story at the end. The relations between characters have been set and one can look out for more mystery to come.
It is not fair to judge this movie based on our knowledge of the series nowadays. Trying to review this according to the context in that time, you can also comment on a few things.
First of all I like the way Columbus has enriched the story with as many elements as possible from the original book. You may not see them the at first, but if you watch it for a second time, they are certainly present: the mysteries of Hogwarts, Harry’s connection to Voldemort and the theme of friendship.
Second, themes play a major role throughout the story. Friendship, as mentioned earlier, is explained thoroughly from different perspectives. Certainly those carry fitting messages towards the audience which are children and teenagers.
Moreover, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was one of the first movies to actually reflect modern society in a very composed manner. The (visual) distinctions it makes between the Wizarding World and the Muggle World contribute enormously to the greater purpose of the story. It provides an original, ‘alien’ vision to look at the little practical segments that serve to be helpful nowadays. Intriguing really.. Not just any movie gets to be nominated for three (!) Academy Awards!
This movie is a marvelous thing to look at, only if you can let go of the modern context and realize it is from the year 2001. In addition, being highly engaging: from the bustling streets of Diagon Alley to the mysteries surrounding Hogwarts and its Forbidden Forest. Let the Magic Begin!