Why Not the “Philosopher’s” Stone?

The Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

To say that fantasy sucks would be an understatement right? It’s something devoid of tediousness, unoriginality and free spirit. The world of fantasy in any universe should be embraced as magnificent and creative without any limits. Let’s look at the world of Harry Potter for instance. Wizards and mudbloods (or so Malfoy likes to call them) and dragons and elves and everything in between makes a universal world of magic and excitement for any young audience, fresh mind or not.

*SPOILERS*

The first installment in the film series which was released in 2001, always had that hidden question that I would ask myself about it. Why was it released in the US as “…the Sorcerer’s Stone” and not as the title held upon by the book that it was based on? That’s another point I want to talk about. I’ll admit sometimes the unforeseen procrastinating side of my personality prevents me from reading a book before I even see its film adaption. Oops I admitted it, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. However from what I’ve heard from my friends that actually read all the books, this movie really was a faithful adaption of the book, so why not just retain the original title and save the trouble of making me wonder this question for all these years? Oh well.

Anyways as I was saying, this first part of the film series follows a very young and pure Harry Potter on a magical experience as he discovers that he is very famous for being the survivor of an attack on his family by the evil Lord Voldemort. Oops I said his name. So basically Voldemort’s introduced as the Darth Vader of this magical universe, the Sauron of this wizard world, pretty much the ultimate badass that everyone should fear, let alone mention his name (I honestly don’t remember anymore why it was such a big deal to never say his name). This however is also responsible for giving Harry such a high reputation in the wizard world due to his survival taking place only when he was a mere baby. His parents on the other hand weren’t so lucky.

With his invitation to study at Hogwarts, Harry makes the transition of being placed into the Gryffindor house along with his newfound friends, Ron and Hermione. From there his reputation at Hogwarts grows rather rapidly as his skills in the Quidditch team prove marvelous.

His antics with a troll and a hooded Voldemort in the forest make him a noted stand-out among the first-year students at Hogwarts. After various research they happen to stumble upon the idea that someone is trying to revive the long-awaited Voldemort with the “Socerer’s Stone.” There it is again, why not the “Philosopher’s Stone” instead? The rest I definitely won’t explain as it is rather something that you as an audience viewer should see for yourself if you’re reading this. If anything, I’ll only mention that the film ends with a classic sensational and satisfying climax that leaves you wanting more, which of course we would get in the subsequent sequels.

It’s no surprise, at least to me, that this film marked the start of a notable film series that captured everyone’s attention over the course of the past decade. It certainly can also be seen as the reason for jump-starting the careers of its main stars, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and of course the lovely Emma Watson. They all play their roles and characters very enthusiastically. Harry has that sad but strong background that makes him a worthy protagonist. Ron is that red-haired sidekick if you will, who causes mishaps that are eventually taken care of by the obviously-intelligent and strong-witted Hermione. And Voldemort? Well his only appearance at the end makes him look like what I had mentioned previously, the ultimate badass to be feared upon any name mentioning. Oops there I said his name again.

Without a beautifully handled production set or effects, I don’t think the wizard world would’ve been believable enough for us. For that I personally wish I could thank them as well as Chris Columbus for his magnificent direction and devotion to the book. Till next time, I only await the chance to give my critique on the next installment. So until then, if you maybe lived under a rock and thus never watched a Harry Potter film, this would maybe mark the exact time to start. For a film that I remember so caringly, it really is the notion of a film that can maintain audiences of any age.

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