As an English and Theater major, an avid reader and a self-proclaimed Hufflepuff, I expected Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to be something out of my dreams.
As I opened my Amazon package and unveiled the glorious golden book, I was filled with nostalgia and excitement for another adventure with my friends Harry, Hermione and Ron. As I ripped through the first 100 pages, I was horrified to find a dry, awkward, lifeless story of characters that don't accurately reflect those that I had fallen in love with in the original series. I had to convince myself to finish reading it for the sake of this review, and I'm deeply saddened to write it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed child is not another Harry Potter novel, but rather a stage script of a new play written by screenwriter and playwright, Jack Thorne. The play premiered in London on July 30 and the script was released the next day.
While the original story was written by the Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling with the assistance of Jack Thorne and theater director John Tiffany, the script was not ultimately written by Rowling. Knowing this, it is important to keep in mind that the writing is for a play and not a novel. Therefore, I attempted to envision the play on stage and even as an experienced play reader I found it challenging.
The play follows Harry Potter's son, Albus, and his best friend Scorpius, son of Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter's rival. the two young boys who are third-years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry attempt to alter the past with a device a called a time turner, returning to when their fathers were still in school . The story attempts to discuss the meaning of friendship and the relationship of a father and his son.
My largest critique is that the characters simply don't act like themselves .while I do recognize that Harry is now an adult, he is overly harsh with character that he used to regard with the utmost respect. he also makes ridiculously illogical and careless decisions, such as asking the Hogwarts staff to watch his son at all times almost in a stalking manner and telling his son that he wishes he wasn't his father.
In this play, Ron also acts as comedic relief, coming off as a fumbling, goofy idiot who doesn't add much to the overall action of the story, which is exactly what the original seven novels tried to stray away from in terms of his character development.
Beloved Hermione is framed as valuable due to her marriage to Ron, and there are moments in the plot that imply that Hermione would be nothing without her husband. I have a hard tim believing that strong, smart and independent Hermione would ever be nothing without a man.
Positively, there are a few new characters that are fresh and exciting in this future Harry Potter world. The show is completely stolen by young Scorpius, whose character is sweet, funny and multi-dimensional. He has serious and wise moments as well as comedic lines which make him interesting and fun to get to know. He has seems to be closest in behavior to Rowling's original characters. He acts as a nice companion for the boring and stagnant character that is Albus Potter.
I think that Albus doesn't learn much throughout his hero's journey and comes off as selfish and ungrateful, which is surprising because he is a Potter. It bewilders me that Ginny and Harry would bring him up that way.
While the newer character have their own stories to tell, I also found it entertaining to find out what our favorite old character had been up to. It's somehow nice to find out how they;re doing, even in passing. For example, Professor Mcgonnagal is now Headmistress and Neville Longbottom is now a professor of Herboloy. While Harry Potter readers got a taste of the future of these characters in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it is exciting to know more. Surprisingly, Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape struck me as the most real and true to their old characters, which gave me a sigh of relief.
Although I found the overall writing to be cheesy and ingenuine and the plot to be uninteresting and useless, it is also important to note that since this is a script, it is missing much of what the original novel brought, which was incredible writing. It may be a play that is worth seeing, but not reading. if you are a Harry Potter fan, it is worth the try. Revisit your favorite characters and try to keep an open mind for those that are new. Yo might find that you love Jack Thorne's style of writing, or have a broader imagination than I do.