Harry Potter in Review: The Philosopher’s Stone
A new series by G-FUNK.
(Substitute the ‘Philosophers’ for ‘Sorcerers’ if you’re in the States – or just any other word you feel like.)
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman
Plot: A big, bearded man tells young Harry that he’s special. Harry agrees to go with him.
Review: The Harry Potter book series is a magical experience, deserving of the monumental praise that has been heaped upon it. It’s no surprise that Warner Brothers was quick to capatilise on this by bringing it to the big screen. It’s a visually rich story filled with strong relationships and simple morals.
It almost feels like a disappointment that a little more artistic flair hadn’t been taken considering the source material. Instead director Columbus seems content to do little more than read directly from the book which winds up with a very vanilla adaptation. Little imagination has gone into the cinematography or direction, and the actors seem to have been given little direction outside of the script, leaving many of the inexperienced performances looking as though they’re doing little more than reading their lines directly of the page.
The visual effects are also quite sketchy, with different companies producing different aspects of the film it leaves some of the creatures looking bland. The Quidditch match, a key set piece for the film, is actually unfinished with obviously unrendered characters zipping about in what is otherwise a film highlight.
Not that the film is a failure, far from it. The director does manage to bring the story to life and the casting couldn’t be more perfect (with Alan Rickman as a stand out). The biggest crime committed here is the lack of imagaination that could’ve taken a sure-fire hit and turned it into something that is truely magical.
Review: SIX outta TEN