Alex E’s review published on Letterboxd:
Alex E's Harry Potter Marathon #1
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
"It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live." - Dumbledore
After finishing the book a few hours ago I thought I'd revisit this again after loving the first book and what is great about these early HP movies is they stay faithful to the book whilst cutting a few things out to make the pacing flow better.
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, Harry Potter has a great destiny and must prove his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and with his two best friends that the meets at Hogwarts, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley they must uncover the truth about the Philosopher's Stone.
As I said this movie is very faithful to the book with a few minor changes some for the better seeing as Wizard Chess is the last room until the finale with that epic plot twist thanks to the good writing but also it's a shame some things are cut out like the Centaurs I know we see Firenze in the film but I wish we got to see more of them seeing as The Forbidden Forrest chapter was amazing to read. As for favourite chapter I'd have to go with either 'Through the Trapdoor' or 'The Mirror of Erised'.
It's a shame we didn't get Peeves in the film since he would have really stole the show if he was since Peeves is a great character that was sadly left out of the films but I'm glad some cuts where made since I didn't really care too much for the chapter where Hagrid gets a dragon but it does advance the plot, gives some insight to Hagrid's character, and provides us with an excellent setup for some of the best chapters in the book.
One of my favourite things when watching this films is watching Tom Felton play Draco Malfoy from the moment you meet him you just hate him and makes for a brilliant rival to Harry Potter.
John Williams' score is excuse the awful pun, Magical, Majectic and Epic and gives a real grand sound to the film and Chris Colombus was an excellent choice to direct this first film since of how family oriented the first Harry Potter film was but it wasn't afraid to also show darker elements which is good seeing as it certainly helped this franchise in later instalments when new directors came aboard and really helped the later films in the series.
Overall I think both the book and film are kind of on the same level and whilst I prefer the book due to the world that J.K. Rowling creates, the fact it's an amazing fast paced read throughout. Alongside the amazing twist and ending it in such a perfect way to set up the rest of the series. I've got to say this movie never fails to entertain me and is apart of my childhood I remember watching this way back and some of the effects still hold up also I love most of the set designs especially for scenes that are taking place in Hogwarts and the set design for Diagon Alley, I just love the warmth of it all especially with Chris Columbus' direction. Also Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint do a good job in the acting department but for me they are outshined by Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Ian Hart, Robbie Coltrane and Alan Rickman who steals the show as Snape.
I'm gonna end this review with if you haven't seen this film or read the book well you need to rectify this situation immediately.
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