We Just (Re-)Watched… Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Like practically every 90’s kid, I got scooped up in the hype train that was Harry Potter. From the books to the films, that world was amazing to little Becca. I saw all of the films at the cinema over the years and suddenly it was over. While it was still an interesting world, the magic of it fizzled a little bit. I started to read more widely, I watched more films and long gone were the days when Harry Potter was the one true wizard.

Of course, this isn’t everyone’s path. Many people are still on that hype train and loving the new Harry Potter World films, games and merchandise. It made me a little jealous at times. Here they were still enjoying it, when I am stuck wondering why. It had been so many years since I’d seen the films or read the books, I’d just forgotten what made it special.

So, when Tom suggested that Jack, Eddie and I re-watch the films again, after he recently watch them all, I thought “why not?”. I hope you enjoy our re-watching and rediscovering of the Harry Potter series.

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Becca says: I‘ve heard people pass this off as the goofy one, but watching it again I just think those little kids are so damned cute. I worried I’d find them annoying – to be fair, Hermione came close – but they all fit nicely into the charming atmosphere of this movie.

Everything is nice and gentle. There is the gentle progressing of time, the fun little mystery and the sadness of Harry’s story – like, seriously, I’d be charging Dumbledore with child abuse for even considering sending Harry to go back and live with the Dursleys. They’re the only family he has, huh? Hagrid would have made a better baby daddy! I digress –

When we first saw that the film was around two and half hours, we nearly re-considered but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will be my favourite. Whether or not my predictions will hold out, I’ll have to find out.

Jack: Like most people when asked about my opinion on the Harry Potter franchise, I’d agree that it generally got good by the third one (or ‘Chamber of Secrets’, at a push). But I was completely wrong because this series was excellent from the off. Once you lose the fandom – the huge cult-like following the series has garnered – this film is just exceptionally well made. Everything about it feels magical and perfectly judged. I think maybe I’ve unfairly dismissed it in the past, because these films aren’t some YA rubbish, it looks like everyone involved gave their heart and soul.

Obviously you know the story by now, so we won’t waste time with that. What the film does very well is the world-building. It doesn’t give too much away here, just enough to flesh out the world. I don’t remember everything looking quite so busy and expensive, but the world is gorgeous, from Olivander’s shop (established before the birth of Christ, which raises some questions) to the great hall, to the dark forest. It’s also surprisingly dark, and takes its subject matter seriously. Its audience is children, but more than perhaps any other film series this can be enjoyed equally by anyone – just ask my nonagenarian Nana!

So I’m beyond excited to continue the series once again. Though I’m actually a little worried about the later films. This one is so light and wonderful, I almost don’t want to see Alfonso Cuarón’s darker take on the world. Almost.

 

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