Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Stars : Daniel Radcliffe ,Rupert Grint ,Emma Watson ,Richard Harris ,Robbie Coltrane ,Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman ,Ian Hart

Directed By:  Chris Columbus

Written By: J. K. Rowling , Screenplay by  : Steve Kloves .

The world met this boy wizard in 1997 , through J.K. Rowling's book "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" but for the U.S edition the name was changed to "Harry Potter and  the Sorcerer's Stone". In 2001 the world saw the boy on the big screen in the adaptation of the book , directed by Chris Columbus and produced by David Heyman and J. K. Rowling herself. With almost a cult following for the book ,when the movie opened up in theaters it created history , with over $947 million in world wide box office collections it remains among the top ten highest grosser. The cast was primarily British because J.K. Rowling or Jo wanted it to be , to keep the feel of the movie intact. After much looking the studio found its Harry Potter in Daniel Radcliffe. The shooting began in 2000 with the movie being primarily shot in U.K .

The movie tells the story of a boy Harry Potter , who has been living with the family of his mother's sister, the  Dursleys. The boy was told that his parents died in car crash when he was just few months old. Its been 10 years and on approaching  his 11th birthday the boy , who has been doing most of the household work , living in a small cramped place under the stairs in the house, receives his first mail ever, a letter from Hogwarts but before Harry could read it , its torn. On his 11th birthday Harry is told by Hagrid , who is a game keeper from Hogwarts that he is a wizard and is to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Thus begins the long journey of our boy wizard. Preparing for his term in Hogwarts Harry needs to buy things mentioned in a list which includes books, a pet and a wand. The wand is supposed to contain a phoenix wing and the wand Harry gets also gave a wing for a wand that's owned by Voldemort. Voldemort is the Dark Lord, who killed Harry's parents and gave Harry the famous lightning scar. On his way  to Hogwarts, Harry  meets Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The child artist selected to play the lead characters were infact selected after a long selection process and each one was perfect for the character they played. Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley the weired , confused, hilarious and lovable room mate of Harry. Rupert got the part with a very serious attempt to get an audition. After hearing about open calls for audition he sent a tape of him rapping about why he should get the part and I think his ginger hair did the trick. Hermione Granger, a gifted child born to a non magical couple played by Emma Watson is a bright , nosy and I know all 11 year old girl  and Emma plays it well considering her age and I read she had to go through 5 round to get the part. Hermione is very confident of herself and so is Emma , so it was almost great.
Hogwarts Logo

At Hogwarts, the students are welcomed by the headmaster Albus Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards of all time and before the students could get to their dorms, they were to be selected for a house. Ron, Hermione and  Harry are selected in Gryffindor's house, out of the four houses  Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin , Voldemort was a member of Slytherin and Slytherin is considered to be the house of the darkest witches and wizards.. Harry gets selected as a seeker for the Gryffindor's Quidditch team and also comes to know that his father James Potter was also a seeker for the same house during his time at Hogwarts.The Potions teacher Prof.  Severus Snape is seen by Hermione putting spell on Harry during the game which made Harry to almost fall off from his broom. Though due to timely intervention by Hermione Harry is able to get his grip back on the broom and win the match for his house. Hermione tells Harry about Snape and they follow him around to discover a chamber that was guarded by a three headed dog woffy. The trio is able to discover that Woffy is guarding "The Sorcerer's Stone" , a powerful element which when used leads to immortality and Voldemort needs that stone to return . The curious trio in search of answers is able to find a way to calm Woffy and decide to enter the chamber before Snape gets his hands on the stone. They move down but are halted just before the last door by a chessboard. In order to get through that gate they had to beat the king, enters our confused weired red-head Ron, a player of class, He is able to defeat the king by sacrificing himself, so that Harry can checkmate the king. Harry meets an unexpected person behind that door. His defense against dark arts teacher,  Professor Quirrell, who reveals to Harry that Snape has been trying to protect him not harm him. In search for the Stone, Harry for the first time encounters Voldemort, very fragile and weak, living on the professor's body. Before Voldemort is able to get his hands on Harry and the Stone, Harry is able to burn down the professor, who is reduced to dust on touching Harry. Voldemort is able to escape , Hurting Harry on his way out. In the end Harry is  safe and after a very thrilling and fulfilling term at Hogwarts, he  return to his aunt's house , away from his home Hogwarts.

The story looks simple and my narration makes it look dull but sincerely its very exciting and thrilling to watch. You find all the right chords of emotion, there is action, drama, friendship and courage all in a 146 mins movie. The special effects are generally the high light of such movies but the human effect over powers the computer effects in this one. The excitement of the Quidditch game , the thrills of Ron and Harry fighting the troll to save Hermione, Harry fighting his worst enemy for the very first time and the joyous win of House cup by Gryffindor makes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a highly enjoyable experience. Amongst all this excitement and thrills the most outstanding and astonishing was the world of magic itself. Everything about Hogwarts was magical, from the platform 9 3/4 from which the students were to board the train that took the them  to Hogwarts station, their boat ride to Hogwarts. The stairs of dormitories, ever changing with a mind of their own. One such change in the stairs led our trio of Harry , Hermione and Ron to discover Woffy. Magic is everywhere in Hogwarts, its not limited just to the classrooms. With talking and fairly active paintings hanging on the walls, suspended candles in the main hall and even the house allotment process. A talking hat is responsible for house allotments. The movies is definitely grand and the work Chris Columbus has done with hi team makes it grander.

The movie does has its bad patches as well , mostly with the effects, specially the Quidditch game, where one can easily identify the animation. I didn't find the dialogues to be that impressive, but yeah the weren't bad either. If we look upon the performances , the three kids , actually all the kids in the movie did fine. Looking at the performances by our leading child actors and comparing them with today, they have grown immensely. As far as adults in the movie , Alan Rickman as Prof. Snape stands out. His dark clothes , long hair and intense looks, makes him the most suspicious character , which also helps in keeping the viewer guessing if  he had not read the book. Robbie Coltrane as the lovable and adorable Leubeus Hagrid is really cute. He is the sweetest around in Hogwarts and probably the first friend of our boy Wizard. Chir Columbus really added to the legend of Harry Potter with   Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone.

Plus : Entertaining till the very end, of course who doesn't likes magic and mystery.

Rating 8.5/10


Shrey said...

I was just watching the film last week for the umpteenth time with friends who saw it for the first time. It was good fun giving them all the gyan about Hogwarts and all the characters... am really looking forward to the Deathly Hallows films.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, it is great