Is there anything else I can say about Harry Potter that hasn’t been said already? Most likely not. However, as a long-time fan, I’d like to share my own personal perspective. I’ve already written a review for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and I’d like to continue with the remainder of the series. Please keep in mind that this will primarily be a synopsis of the films. While I highly suggest the novels, I’ve recently rewatched the movie, so they’re still fresh in my mind.
‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ film review
Because I’m a big fan, I won’t have much to complain about in my reviews, but I’ll do my best to provide my honest opinion on each. However, this isn’t intended to be a ranking of which film is the best or worst, or an assessment of its overall quality. Just some random thoughts and insights I had while viewing each one. Anyway, let’s start from the beginning…
A little background information
We can see right away that this first cinematic adaptation was made with a lot of love and care. That is made plainly evident by the enormous budget and outstanding casting. Despite this, the picture is similar to many first parts of a long-running series in that it isn’t the most polished and elegant, but it has a certain unpretentious charm. When it initially came out in theatres, I was twelve years old and watched it for the first time. I’d previously been a long-time fan of the books, so I was looking forwards to watching this. While I enjoyed the film, it was actually rather frightening for a child at times! Despite the fact that this is the lightest of the Harry Potter films, it nevertheless contains some bizarre elements, most notably Fluffy the three-headed dog and Voldemort himself when we first see him in full.
The Boy Who Lived The film begins with a charming, yet tragic scene of baby Harry being sent to 4 Privet Drive to live with “the worst type of Muggles imaginable.” And they definitely live up to their moniker. Seeing Harry go through this change is one of the things that makes the story work so beautifully. We move from his lowly Muggle life to something far greater in the first half of the film alone, only to have Harry face extremely scary and sinister scenarios from there. That’s another factor that contributes to the success of this project. The sensation of enigma. Even as warm and inviting as Hogwarts is, it doesn’t take long for us to notice that something isn’t quite right beneath the surface. What’s the deal with the third-floor corridor being off-limits? What was the point of having a troll in the dungeon? What makes Snape so spooky and strange?
Hogwarts has its own section.
While I’m not usually a big admirer of school settings in books and movies, Harry Potter is an exception. Seriously, Hogwarts is the coolest school on the planet. When I say I wish I could have been a student at Hogwarts, I know I’m not alone. Hogwarts Castle is very stunning. Apart from that, it’s amazing to observe how they go about their daily lives. I enjoy witnessing the classroom teachings and the diversity of clever spells, as well as other anomalies like moving stairs and talking portraits, even when there are no three-headed dogs, evil deformed wizards, or other terrible monsters. Then there’s Quidditch, which is a very dangerous activity. I could see an entire movie based solely on Quidditch. This is one place where the novels shine, as you get so many more world-building aspects that didn’t make it into the movies. However, the movie did provide us with some incredible images to go with with it.
Harry’s World Has Many Faces
Characters are vivid and memorable in equal measure. We jump ahead ten years after the opening scene to see that the Dursleys are horrible people and much worse guardians for poor Harry. Despite their wretchedness, I don’t find the Dursleys particularly repulsive.
Harry’s World Has Many Faces
Characters are vivid and memorable in equal measure. We jump ahead ten years after the opening scene to see that the Dursleys are horrible people and much worse guardians for poor Harry. Despite their wretchedness, I don’t find the Dursleys particularly repulsive. They’re amusing in a manner, but they’re soon eclipsed by some of the considerably more despicable characters. When I examine Order of the Phoenix, I’ll go into more detail on that… We also meet Hagrid, who is arguably my favourite character in the series, opposite the Dursleys. He’s just a riot to be around. It’s clear from the start, but he continues to shine throughout the duration of the film. Oliver Wood is a fantastic character. We didn’t get to see much more of him. Madame Hooch is also fantastic, although her actress vanishes after the first film. While Harry and Ron meet on the Hogwarts Express and quickly hit it off, it’s fascinating to observe their early interactions with Hermione before they all solidify as The Trio later in the novel. Harry’s friendship with them is something he never had with the Dursleys in his previous life. Unfortunately, even a lovely boy like Harry can’t befriend everyone. He is soon pitted against the arrogant Draco Malfoy and his dimwitted lackeys Crabbe and Goyle. And, of course, there’s Professor Snape, who was beautifully portrayed by Alan Rickman.
Observations at Random
I like how Fluffy is the name of the big, terrible, monstrous dog, while Fang is the name of the cuddly, adorable, and innocent dog. Is it possible that Hagrid messed up their names? Mrs Norris’ ability to see past Harry’s invisibility cloak has always piqued my interest. It’s also worth noting her bright red eyes. Madame Hooch’s eyes are a bright yellow colour, which is unusual.
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