Harry Potter y la Piedra filosofal

Christopher Columbus, 2001.
Reparto: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ronald 'Ron' Weasley), Emma Watson (Granger), John Cleese (Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Warwick Davis (profesor Flitwick), Richard Griffiths (tío Vernon Dursley), Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore), Ian Hart (profesor Quirell), John Hurt (Sr. Ollivander), Alan Rickman (profesor Severus Snape), Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Julie Walters (Sra. Molly Weasley).
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El mago mimado

La verdadera fuerza que mueve cada elemento de una película es la simpatía. Un personaje gana una fortuna y eso nos alegra porque sentimos que, aunque no es lógico o probable, se lo merece. Uno no va al cine a ver lo habitual, o lo probable de una situación, uno paga para ver lo justo. El maestro de esta idea se llama Frank Capra. Capra enseña la baraja porque abusa de lo ilógico para mostrarnos lo que sabemos que debería ser. En ese plano de fuerzas que estoy tratando de definir, Harry Potter no funciona. Digamos que es inflacionario. En cada episodio del relato (da igual entender película o libro) Harry es víctima de una injusticia, o de un peligro, al final del episodio se hace acreedor de un gran premio. El problema es: sus vejaciones son pequeñas, sus premios son excesivos. Harry Potter es un niño mimado por sus creadores, y me refiero tanto a Rowling como a Chris Colombus. No sé como funcionará el mecanismo de justicia en otros espectadores, pero puedo asegurar que según el mío, podían haber maltratado mucho más al crío, y desde luego, deberían haberlo abrumado menos de regalos.

Al principio de la historia, Potter vive entre muggles (humanos sin magia) que lo tratan mal y lo hacen dormir en el hueco de la escalera. Luego descubrimos que este niño es muy importante en otro mundo, el de los magos, ni él ni nosotros lo sabíamos antes.

A los doce años es invitado a un colegio de magos donde seguirá su instrucción. Un niño, llamado Malfoy es su rival, los ingleses llaman a estos Malfoys snobs, aquí deberíamos decir pijo. El colegio guarda un misterio que Potter quiere descubrir saltándose algunas reglas. El gigante Hagrid, tontorrón y amigo de Potter, es el culpable de que el secreto deje de serlo.

El mayor mérito de J. K. Rowling ha sido el de coger para su historia elementos fantásticos que no ha inventado ella, como los trolls o las escobas mágicas, y que por se tan conocidos forman una especie de realidad. El mayor defecto de Chris Colombus («Solo en casa») ha sido someterse demasiado al libro y no tranformar el ritmo en cinematográfico.
Roger Ebert Although computers can make anything look realistic, too much realism would be the wrong choice for "Harry Potter," which is a story in which everything, including the sets and locations, should look a little made up. The school, rising on ominous Gothic battlements from a moonlit lake, looks about as real as Xanadu in "Citizen Kane," and its corridors, cellars and great hall, although in some cases making use of real buildings, continue the feeling of an atmospheric book illustration.
If Quidditch is a virtuoso sequence, there are other set pieces of almost equal wizardry. A chess game with life-size, deadly pieces. A room filled with flying keys. The pit of tendrils, already mentioned, and a dark forest where a loathsome creature threatens Harry but is scared away by a centaur. And the dark shadows of Hogwarts library, cellars, hidden passages and dungeons, where an invisibility cloak can keep you out of sight but not out of trouble.
During "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," I was pretty sure I was watching a classic, one that will be around for a long time, and make many generations of fans.
David Ansen [NEWSWEEK] The movie gets most of the book’s events in, but loses much of the lightness and charm of Rowling’s vision.
The biggest offender is John Williams’s bombastic score, which smothers the action with inappropriate grandiosity. It’s selling the movie, not supporting it.
The proper ingredients are all in place. What’s needed is a wizard who can make it all levitate.
Bob Graham Blame it on the English and their damned green grass. Even if they may be more in awe than others of the boarding-school traditions from which "Harry Potter" takes off, the magic works where it counts: the creation of a whole 'nother world.
If such special effects and others, including transfiguration and telekinesis, have not yet become completely taken for granted and lost their power to amaze, that day is getting closer. Fortunately, "Harry Potter" has something else to fall back on.
John Williams has provided a lighter-textured score than usual, but that doesn't keep him from seeming afraid that the audience might miss something if he didn't blast out every dramatic moment.
Lisa Schwarzbaum Even smaller roles are filled by some of Britain's grandest thespians -- Fiona Shaw as Aunt Petunia Dursley, Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon, Zoë Wanamaker in an electrocuted hairdo as broomstick coach Madame Hooch -- and each throws himself or herself into the task with the passion of Olivier taking on ''Henry V.''
Columbus' intrinsically American-style polished fidelity mixes with Rowling's intrinsically English-style eccentric storytelling well enough to create an accessible movie built to satisfy readers, welcome novices, and support sequels.
Desson Howe [WASHINGTON POST] "Potter"-the-movie is about Harry discovering his powers, making friends with classmates Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and learning about the good and dark forces around him at Hogwarts.
And, in the title role, Radcliffe is an utter, unpretentious, non-obnoxious charm. Let's hope he can complete his round of Harry roles before his voice breaks.
Mr Cranky What makes the Harry Potter books work -- especially "Sorcerer's Stone" -- is that Harry Potter is an ordinary kid. In fact, he's about the least likely kid in the world to be a wizard. This allows Rowling's young readers to identify with Harry. It allows them to think, "If this could happen to somebody like Harry Potter, it could happen to somebody like me." It is the single most important feeling evoked by the book. Forget wonder, forget imagination -- if kids cannot identify with Harry Potter, they cannot enjoy the book.
So what does director Christopher Columbus remove from the movie? He removes the audience's ability to identify with Harry Potter. While he's at it, he also removes the crucial sense of fear and tension Harry experiences at Hogwarts -- in the book, he is constantly afraid of being expelled. That's all missing. It's all missing because people like Christopher Columbus don't have the slightest idea what compels people to love something. All they understand is how to sell something. They understand marketing and survey forms. They think that the key to getting audiences to connect with the kids on the flying brooms is to spend enough money to make the flying brooms as realistic as possible.