Cinema: Harry Potter: Wizardry Without Magic

The Harry Potter film has loads of technical expertise but lacks the enthralling life of Rowling's original

Fearful wizards refer to their nemesis, the wicked Voldemort, as You-Know-Who. But for literate kids and plenty of adults, the book world's You-Know-Who for the past few years has been Harry Potter, unassuming boy hero of J.K. Rowling's fantasy series. Now that the first book--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone in the original British version)--is a movie, true Hogwartsians will return to the source and compare written and visual texts with the care of a New Critical scholar. They will find that the book was better--richer in mood, in thrilling melodrama, in joy--than director Chris Columbus' meticulous, stolid film.

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