Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★½

It's quite nostalgic to revisit the magical world of Harry Potter after so many years, yet surprising to discover that it still has a charming quality that hasn't aged. The first in the 8-part film series, Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone (also known as Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone) may not have the darkness or complexity of the later instalments but what it manages to retain is the freshness, innocence & excitement one feels when embarking on a new adventure.

Based on the novel of the same name by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone begins the journey of The Boy Who Lived and covers his adventures during his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Completely oblivious to the world of magic as well as his famed celebrity status, the young Potter learns to adjust well at his new home & begins to prove his worth but soon realises that this magical world is far more dangerous for him than he imagined.

Directed by Chris Columbus, the film is a wonderful treat for kids & families plus as far as the screenplay goes, it remains pretty faithful to its source material. Cinematography beautifully captures the ambience of Hogwarts, music by John Williams provides a magical feeling of its own & the visual effects clearly doesn't seem to have aged well over the years. Looking back, there are few moments which today seem pretty silly or stupid & unfortunately with every passing year, it's only going to get worse.

Coming to the acting department, there are performances ranging from pretty impressive to childish & annoying but I still have nothing to complain about the casting choices made here as not a single actor feels like a miscast in the story. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint & Emma Watson do their part fine but it's Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane & Richard Harris who impress most in their respective roles of Severus Snape, Rubeus Hagrid & Albus Dumbledore.

On an overall scale, Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone may not look as magical today as it was during its time of release but it's still a wonderful adaptation of J.K. Rowling's spellbinding world on the silver screen, which would later go on to become a cultural phenomenon of our time. And even though its story might be more aimed at younger audience, there are moments present in the film that will have even adults gazing at the screen with a childlike sense of wonder. Worth a watch? Definitely.

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