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Thursday, Apr 11, 2002

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Harry comes to Hyderabad


The two films releasing this week - `Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' and `Where Eagles Dare' are must-watch classics in their own right.

Harry is invited to join Hogwarts.

THE WAIT is over and all Harry Potter fans can dance with glee at the chance of seeing Hagrid and company on screen in the first instalment of the Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Directed by Chris Columbus, known mainly for softer films like Home Alone, the film is so faithful to the book that it steals any element of surprise.

Columbus is all praise for the production team that brought the world of Harry Potter alive on screen when he says, "This film is incredibly collaborative and it has been the highlight of my career for several reasons mostly because I have worked with such talents."

Cinematographer John Seale (Witness, Dead Poet's Society) was attentive to the fact that there is no artificial light at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and lit the set with torches and candles. Costumes which earned the film an Academy Award nomination were done by Judianna Makovsky who effectively brought out the quirkiness of the tale by using a classical professor's robes, adding the black and white of a referee to it and cutting it in such a way that it flows like the movement of a bird for Madam Hooch, the flying instructor's robes.

The film stars Daniel Radcliff as Harry with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as fellow wizards in training Hermione and Ron Weasley. While some have panned the film describing it as a "film made by muggles for muggles," there are others who have loved it. By the way, cashing in on the craze, super stores are flooded with loads of merchandise - from cute little Hagrid dolls to games and what nots. Let the magic begin!

The other film releasing this week, Where Eagles Dare (`68) is this classic war film. Ironically, it follows Black Hawk Down; which can be described as the war film of the new millennium. Where Eagles Dare, based on a novel by Alistair Maclean (he also wrote the screenplay) and starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood is set in a time when war films were pretty straightforward. The good and bad had clear-cut distinctions and there was no troubling grey areas. In the movie, Burton and Eastwood have to infiltrate the most inaccessible fortress in the world to rescue an important general from under the German's noses. There are many twists and turns, deceptions and betrayals woven in with eye-popping action sequences featuring parachute jumps, mobike escapes, bombs and travelling in a cable car.

Akshat Misra of Sangeet cinema where the film will be playing said, "The new print is the main attraction. Where Eagles Dare is a movie for all generations and will be enjoyed by all." Those of you who have only seen the film on telly or not seen it at all, could give the movie a dekho to see this edge-of-the-seat war film, the grand visuals and these gorgeous men, Eastwood and Burton, on the big screen.

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