Harry Potter (Radcliffe) is a legend in the Wizarding world, yet he had no idea he was a Wizard until his eleventh birthday when Hagrid (Coltrane) turns up after problems with his Hogwarts letter.
Living with his aunt, uncle and cousin, Harry did not have the best of starts in life after is parents died when he was still a baby. He was told they died in a car crash but that could not be further from the truth. His parents were very much a part of the wizard world and his muggle aunt and uncle hated them and Harry for that matter.
They even tried to stop the letters from arriving at the house and not letting Harry know who he really is. Hagrid saves him from the muggles and takes him to Diagon Alley for the first time to collect his school supplies. Then we see the Hogwarts train for the first time and how to get onto platform 9 and 3/4.
We can all relate to how Harry would have felt leaving to start a new school, as going to secondary school is a very daunting task. So just finding out that he is a wizard and is heading to a special school for wizards and witches where they will be taught how to use magic must be rather scary at the same time exciting.
Much to Harry’s surprise everyone knows who he is and is often said to be “the famous Harry Potter” which is finds rather strange given he had been living in a cupboard for 10 years! He quickly becomes friends with Ron Weasley (Grint) who is in the same house as he is. Hermione Granger also becomes their friend despite being a know-it-all when it comes to school work and classes. The three of them end up on an adventure to save the Philosopher’s Stone.
This film really does give us a very good glimpse into the Harry Potter world, still being very much aimed more towards children (but that does not stop it being good entertainment for adults too) and enjoyable from start to finish. We get to know the main three characters along with the Hogwarts teachers. We try to work out who Harry can trust, although that is not as simple as it first seems.
We are introduced to the game of Quidditch which is rather disappointing in this film (luckly it gets better in the next films). We get the basics for this and other groundwork is shown to us in order to really understand what the characters are all about. We get to know Dumbledore, McGongall and Snape who are the main teachers we need to know.
A very good beginning to the film series in my opinion as it really does keep us engaged and guessing throughout.