Harry Potter and the Sorcerer of Stone was in essence one of the best films of all time and my personal favorite. The director Chris Columbus, brought this 2001 motion picture to the status of instant classic. With dynamic and passionate characters such as Daniel Radcliffe, (Harry) contrasted with the deep and daunting prospect of Alan Rickman, (Snape) there is bound to be brilliance. These sharp personality contrasts were averaged by the wise and grandfatherly Richard Harris, (Dumbledore) and the charming humor of Mr. Rupert Grint. (Ron)
It took about $120 million to produce such a film that was shot in Alnwick Castle, Alnwick England, UK. The extravagant price was necessary to satisfy the imaginations of the books adoring readers. The story line comes from the novel itself, even the critics can admit it was surprisingly faithful to the book. The Director Chris Columbus stated that he would have made the movie 8 hours long to fully pay homage to the novel, however time constraints were ever overhead. The story crafted by the movie is in fact quite similar to the novel and in fact crispens the emotions glazed over in the book.
The story begins at night, in a time of darkness and gloom that seems never ending until Dumbledore (Harris) arrives with his Put outer and ignites the lights of hope as soon as little Harry Potter arrives. Each scene the director chose to include from the novel are very significant to not only the plot but the series. The scene at number four Privet Drive for example allows the author to dive into the everyday life of this boy that they can relate and empathize with. The mockings of Harry Melling, (Dudley) hawkish glares from Fiona Shaw, (Aunt Petunia) and disturbed sneers of Richard Griffin, (Mr. Dudley) create a hostile atmosphere where even the audience feels unwelcomed.
Visiting Diagon Alley is also a major pivotal point in the movie. In this scene the wizards welcome Harry (Radcliffe) into the Leaky Cauldron, a sharp contrast to the earlier scene. Their attitude towards him is full of respect and awe. The audience, knowing these wizards and witches are smarter than most muggles, realize that Harry is indeed worthy of respect. When Harry steps into Diagon Alley the Cinematographer John Seal, conveys his overwhelmed feeling to the audience as the street is lined with witches and wizards and all sorts of magical trinkets. The costume design as well Judianna Makousky shocked the theater with the robes all magical classmates wore.
The scene on the train established the basis for the ultimate friendship. This masterpiece was simply and plainly just performance. The Screenwriter, Steve Kloves introduced each character with a flare of their personality. Emma Watson (Hermione) entered the compartment in an effort to help someone else but resulted in a small bit of gloating and of course the dripping sarcasm she automatically replies with to Ronald. (Rupert) Rupert was displayed in a similar manner, first being displayed as quiet and shy and then opening up to reveal his inner self with his famous Bloody hell.
Finally the entrance into Hogwarts leave Harry into this mirrored new world with so many unanswered questions and decisions. The cherished music from this scene was by John Williams and depicts an anxious feeling rushed by excitement and surprise.
In essence every aspect of the film connected the audience to the plot and to the main character. The critics themself agree that the Director was surprising faithful to the book and perhaps this is why there are very little complaints about the movie. Every move was well laid out and planned through. There was no second best when it came to this $120 million dollar production. The audience became part of the story, the novel they so loved now came to life in front of their eyes. Even more people began to read the novel due to this motion picture. It is still and will hopefully remain a classic.
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