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Harry Potter by Michelle Allen, Northern College

February 2022

Hi fellow muggles this blog is about Harry Potter.

The Harry Potter franchise has become a British institution. Despite how long it’s been since the first film was released, it is still very much part of UK culture (I mean, you can’t step in a Primark without finding some Harry Potter item somewhere). It’s arguably still as popular today as it ever was; we’ve all got a quote that’s been stuck in our heads for years (for me “its leviOsa not leviosA”) and if we are honest, provides the easiest Halloween costumes.

Let’s look at Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone. For those of you that have been living under a rock for the last 20 years, I’ll give you a rundown. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is the boy who lived. When he was a baby, his parents were murdered by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and he was forced to live his non-magic family, the neglectful Dursleys. Life was looking pretty bleak for Harry till he turned 11 and received his letter of acceptance to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry.

From Diagon Alley to Hogwarts itself, we join Harry, Ron and Hermione through the highs and lows of being at the school but when Harry realises someone is trying to steal the Philosopher’s stone, he and his friends must put a stop to it and battle the evil lurking within the castle walls.

For those of us that grew up reading the books, being able to see our favourite characters come to life on the big screen is amazing.

Would I give the film top marks? Yes, I absolutely would as it gives me goosebumps and makes me feel like I’m 11 again every time I watch it and was my introduction to all things magical.

The movie is nothing short of immense, from the old-world castle grounds to the gorgeous great hall (don’t get me started on how they decorate for Halloween and Christmas) – the scene when the students first see Hogwarts sailing up to the castle makes me jealous that I didn’t get a letter when I turned 11.

The costumes and special effects also immerse us more deeply into the magical world – I mean look at the goblins of Gringotts! And moving staircases, the three-headed dog and even flying broomsticks.

The actors represent the key personality traits really well despite being child actors. Hermione is the school obsessed goody two shoes who has the answer to everything, Harry is the brave one whose inquisitiveness often gets him into many a dilemma, Ron is the friend who never seems totally sure of what’s going on and Draco is the self-absorbed one who plays a bully really well.

They wouldn’t have been able to perform well without the amazing examples from Alan Rickman because we all want to low-key channel the grandeur of snapes cloak swoop, dame Maggie Smith for her wonderful portrayal of Professor McGonagall, Richard Harris for his brilliant portrayal of headmaster professor Albus Dumbledore.

The Harry Potter franchise has given us: theme parks, studio tours, photographic exhibitions and loads of other creative ways to experience the world for ourselves. It’s even taken Tik Tok by storm since lockdown 1 with creators using Tik Tok as a creative space (chanwills0 doing Professor McGonagall impressions is my fave).

20 years since the first film, has it been that long already? Celebrate in style the only way us muggles know how with a movie night… you know you want to.

Did you know? Alan Rickman was handpicked to play snape by J.K Rowling and received special instructions from her about his character. J.K Rowling even provided him with vital details of Snape’s backstory, not released till the final novel then the film.

Bye for now till next time.