Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

It’s not a revelation that almost if not every film contains a theme or themes. That may be too obvious to state.

It’s good to understand what the author intended thematically, but how one received the story is infinitely valuable to the filmmaker to see how well they did in conveying the meaning without having to spell it out.

However, one may not see the intended meaning and read this and that into the story. Besides, the producers wouldn’t care much about what I thought of Harry Potter. I’m not the intended demographic.

But I’ll say how I received it anyway. I was reviewing the Harry Potter on review here for a website. I saw it again this year when I followed a television re-run of the entire series. I looked more for theme, and came up with this. The powers of everlasting life. What would one do to have everlasting, non-ending life? And would one want this power to forever flaunt evil?

It’s a theme harking back to the Garden of Eden. It could be disastrous giving fallen people the gift of everlasting life to flaunt and use at will because they would use it for evil. So, God protected the way to the Tree of Life.

The movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone) (2001) is about a stone that someone at the School of Witches and Wizards (Hogwarts) wants, but we don’t know who until the end. The stone holds the powers of life and grants immortality–thus referencing the theme of everlasting life I’ve mentioned above.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is (and was) an entertaining introduction to the Harry Potter franchise.

The story goes that Harry’s mother and father were killed by the wizard Voldemort, but as a young child Harry survived the attack.

Harry stays with his uncle and aunt who are not magically inclined. They treat Harry with a mix of suspicion, fear and punishment. But Harry is off to Hogwarts and away from his mean guardians.

Because of the attack on his father and mother that he survived, Harry’s a celebrity at Hogwarts, yet Voldemort may be attempting a comeback, to finish what he started.

The first half introduces the game of Quidditch (a game for wizards) and builds up the characters which is wise for the first episode of a projected series of films. We get to know them first before anything eventful happens.

The Hogwarts school is a feat in production design and art direction. The music by John Williams fits the Harry Potter feel, perhaps on occasion overdone. The visual effects are outstanding and includes a life-size chess board, an invisibility cloak, a man-horse, and a three-headed dog; it’s believable.

Young actor Daniel Radcliffe as Harry owns his role, making Harry seem life-like. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing Harry’s friends are believable and likeable. Veteran actors Richard Harris and Maggie Smith are good as always, bringing distinctness and refinement, and Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane bring presence to their roles.

The film concludes warmly and some wise words from Dumbledore.

8.0/10.0


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman. Director: Chris Columbus.

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