The magical world of Harry Potter is my first love and it always will be. Reading was my first escape from the real world, a way to find extraordinary creatures and wizards. The story shows you courage, strength and how the bookworm can be as strong as the jocks. As a 7 years old, Hermione Granger felt like my alter ego: a bookworm by day and a badass going on adventures with her friends after schools. J.K. Rowling made me believe that you can be nerdy and still be impulsive once in a while. So when the movie came out, I tumbled into that world and I never wanted to come out. This is my favourite Top 5 moments from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
1. Dumbledore, McGonagall and Hagrid
The arrival of those characters with baby Harry Potter after the death of his parents shows the audience magic for the first time in this universe. Dumbledore walks down the street in full wizard robes with his long, white beard, the image we usually have of a wizard, and he uses a deluminator, taking out the light from lamp posts. He might not be grandiose, but he does it with such ease that the audience want the gadget at home. It’s mysterious and intriguing. McGonagall makes her entrance as her animagus, a cat. The transformation in front of Dumbledore felt so magical and she does it without batting an eye and Dumbledore keeps on talking which shows how normal it is in the universe. And when Hagrid arrives, on a flying motorcycle, we know that in this universe there are wizards in the muggle world, yet they are hiding from the muggles. They establish how the world works without going into long and boring exposition.
2. Harry, Ron and Hermione meet on the Hogwarts Express.
This is where the adventure began. Harry and Ron, best friends from the start. This feels like an important moment for Harry, because previously he never had any friends. From his early childhood, he was told by his aunt, uncle and cousin that he was a loser, a weight on their family and there he is on the train talking to someone his age who has something in common with him. Hermione has a bit of a rough start, especially with Ron, because she is his polar opposite. In one scene, we understand the character’s personality, but also their dynamic. We see character traits that will clash and what they might have in common.
3. Hogwarts and the Great Hall
During the first act of the movie, we spend time in the muggle world and on Diagon Alley, showing how far appart both worlds really are. Seeing Hogwarts for the first time is incredible, because it feels so tall, so magical. Students are gliding across the Black lake on boats when we see it, during the night with only few lights on. The contrast between the castle and the night sky makes it look even more imposing. The Great Hall shows you in one shot how the school works with its 4 long tables and the head table at the end of the room. The floating candles gives the Hall a warm glow and the magical nigh sky inside the castle gives the little bit of magic you need.
4. Quidditch Match
Having one quick scene with Oliver Wood explaining the Harry what it is and what are the rules is brilliant, because when the match starts we can jump right into the action. This is my favourite match, because you get to see it fully. The game is filmed like a game of football, so it’s quick camera work with a lot of cuts giving the audience a fast pace action sequence. Also, it’s a great idea to use the game as a plot device and a twist, letting the audience and the main characters think that Snape is the bad guy when in fact it’s actually Quirrell. When Harry gets to the Stone, it gives the audience a good surprise to find out that it was in fact Quirrell that was working with Voldemort. Also, I love that Quidditch is the first real link between Harry and his father. He craves for a family and he finds part of his father when he plays the game.
5. The Challenges to the Philosopher’s Stone
Each challenge is there to showcase some type of intelligence. Rowling, in the books, and Colombus, in the movie, they show the audience the importance of teamwork and friendship. Hermione might be a know-it-all, but they needed Ron’s sense of strategy during the chess game and Harry’s talent on a broom. Hermione might have figured out Snape’s riddle, but she needed her two friends to move to the next clue. Those challenges strengthen the bond between the friends. When Harry first sees the Mirror of Erised he wishes for his parents, to have them back. He sits in front of the mirror just to see himself with them. When he sees them a send time, he has a stronger bond with his friends who fought alongside him and who became his new family. He doesn’t need the mirror anymore.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone made me believe in a world of mystery and magic where spells, creatures and hidden castles exist. In the movie, we follow three youngsters who could be me or you and that’s what makes it so fantastic.