Adventure Fantasy Family Harry Potter has lived under the stairs at his aunt and uncle's house his whole life. The soundtrack may rely too heavily on The Famous Bit, but it's clear that the balance and mixture of things in the finished movie are exactly right. My favorite character, the giant Hagrid, is played by Robbie Coltrane, and I say with no exaggeration that he is exactly how I imagined him while reading the book. I enjoyed this movie immensely. But on his 11th birthday, he learns he's a powerful wizard -- with a place waiting for him at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. My favorite character, the giant Hagrid, is played by Robbie Coltrane, and I say with no exaggeration that he is exactly how I imagined him while reading the book. At two and a half hours long hit the restroom before it starts , the film includes the book's most memorable scenes, bringing many of them to life with pure cinematic wizardry.
I had a lot of worries about the fact that it was being directed by Chris Columbus, whose entire directorial career so far has consisted of over-the-top slapstick films. In the minds of die-hard fans, any changes made to the story will be seen as desecrating the fantasy world that Rowling created. Perhaps some of the scenes would have been better with more conventional special effects? The Quedditch game is picturised amazingly. David Bradley has a vicious Argus Filch; John Hurt's Ollivander is an eccentric treat, giving a wonderful introduction to the Wizarding World. However, there are occasions where some of the actors are required to convey high emotions and are only given a second or two of face shot, or head-and-shoulders shot, to do so. The stills are wonderful, but the fastest animation is restricted by the limitations of real-world technology.
The professors are uniformly excellent, though Richard Harris' Dumbledore comes off as disappointingly flat until the end. We never see the ghostly history teacher who died several years back but kept on teaching. Some have criticized Daniel Radcliffe for appearing too subdued in the title role, but that's exactly how the character is portrayed in the book: modest, unassuming, and laid-back. So it could never have been the film that the hyper-literalists were hoping for, then, but it is as good as the practicalities of the real world could possibly permit. The score is absolutely wonderful. The movie changes strongly exaggerate one side of Hagrid's nature, though; probably inevitable considering how much plot exposition his character has. The blame here must fall on the decision to give the actors too much to do too quickly, not on the actors themselves.
Rupert Grint is delightful as Harry's sardonic buddy Ron Weasley and Emma Watson nearly steals the film as their overachieving friend Hermione Granger. John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick and Julie Walters as Mrs. Every character brought to life on screen has done justice and leave an impression on you. Harry is snatched away from his mundane existence by Hagrid, the grounds keeper for Hogwarts, and quickly thrown into a world completely foreign to both him and the viewer. Take away these details, and you're left with a fairly conventional tale of a young wizard fighting an evil sorcerer.
In the title role, Daniel Radcliffe pulls off the very difficult task of playing an introverted hero who spends most of the movie reacting to the amazing sights and events around him. At two and a half hours long hit the restroom before it starts , the film includes the book's most memorable scenes, bringing many of them to life with pure cinematic wizardry. That's why it's easy to understand why the filmmakers were so reluctant to change anything. This isn't as much freedom as they need and they fall a little short. However, it's extremely clear what an immense challenge it is to turn Philosopher's Stone from book to film. Without going into the story I would certainly say Chris Columbus churns out a perfect pot-pourri of emotions, suspense and magic, delivering something appealing to all ages.
Had Columbus done so and allowed the film to be as long as necessary eight hours, maybe? Across the board, his fine ensemble of actors are so perfectly cast that they appear to have literally stepped out of Rowling's book. I watched this movie first time when I was left with no choice. Having read all four books in the series a few times each, I am overly familiar with the events in the story. Dan Radcliffe has the look, the mannerisms and the charm of Harry down pat. The strong cast of veteran actors includes Richard Harris as the wise Headmaster Dumbledore and Robbie Coltrane as the lovable giant Hagrid. How-ever after watching the movie it did make me a Harry Potter movie fan. There was so much anticipation leading up to its release, I simply enjoyed the experience of being there.
However, it may not stand up to detailed analysis. Every character brought to life on screen has done justice and leave an impression on you. Don't expect miracles and you'll love it. It is the tale of Harry Potter, an ordinary 11-year-old boy serving as a sort of slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and has been invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Given these limitations, this film is about as close to human perfection as it is possible to achieve. Harry's caretaker Uncle Vernon, a prominent character in the book, is given less attention in the movie than some of the bit characters.
Some aspects of the story are fleshed out on screen and the additions are delightful, completely in keeping with the flavour of the world. The movie does include platform nine-and-three-quarters, though the way the kids disappear into the wall isn't as mysterious as I had visualized, and the sorting hat is there, minus the great poem explaining the differences between the four schools. Furthermore, the directors have bowed to the inevitable temptation to show us things that cannot be communicated so effectively in a book. But on his 11th birthday, he learns he's a powerful wizard -- with a place waiting for him at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For Potter fans, what more can you ask for? He soon finds, however, that the wizarding world is far more dangerous for him than he would have imagined, and he quickly learns that not all wizards are ones to be trusted. Columbus clearly understands that fantasy works best when it's played most real.
I would have liked to see a little more emotion on the actors' faces at certain times. The answer, I think, is that the books portray much of Harry's anxiety in trying to succeed in school for if he's kicked out, he'll go straight back to his horrible uncle and fit in with the kids there. He beautifully captures the deep soul and untapped potential of Harry Potter. Given these limitations, this film is about as close to human perfection as it is possible to achieve. There's one scene which gives her too little chance to truly express panic; otherwise her performance needs no changes. I don't have a single complaint about any of the actors, who successfully bring to life, with the aid of costume design and special effects, the many colorful characters from the book.