Best of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Okay, so it’s been a week, which has, of course, been more than enough time for me to get my hands on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, read it, have the complimentary emotional breakdown, and wonder if there’s ever going to be a chance I could see it in theaters. Okay, I know I can’t, not anytime soon. Still, it’s been a real treat to have another Harry Potter book to read. Maybe I could’ve paced myself more to enjoy the experience a bit longer, but gosh darnit Rowling and Thorne, (Jack Thorne, the guy who actually wrote the script,) just made the story too intense to put down.

I might struggle here to write a decent review, as my analysis may sound a bit one-dimensional. I’m just to much of a fan to sound like a thoughtful critic here.

Did I like the play overall?

Yes! It was awesome!

Did you like the characters?

Yes! They were awesome!

Did you feel it was authentic to the Harry Potter series?

Yes! It was awesome!

Will fans enjoy the story?

Yes! It was awesome!

Will strangers to the series enjoy the story?

What? There are people who haven’t heard of Harry Potter somehow? Where? We have to save them! You guys! Read these books and see these movies! They’re awesome!

You see? Hardly a nuanced critique. Since you already know I loved it, I’ve decided to simply pick the parts I loved the best about the play and geek out about them. This, of course, means there are spoilers ahead. If you want to avoid them, just stop here. You’ve already gotten my spoiler free review up above. Without further ado, here are my spoilerific favorite bits of this play:

  1. Albus and Scorpius’s relationship. Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy become best friends in this play, and not just because they have to deal with having really ridiculous names. They’re both awkward outsiders unsure of how to live with the legacy of their family. Their friendship gives us a cool way to look at two very different sorts of fame and legacy causing very similar pain for two young boys. Both Albus and Scorpius have to reckon with what the fate of their fathers has made them, and this wonderfully executed bit of symmetry was a piece of the story I really enjoy.
  2. Harry, Ron, Hermione, the gang’s all here! Another thing I loved was watching the fully grown protagonists of one of my favorite series interact with each other as adults. They work together, live together, and still try to figure out how to save the world together. These parts of the play, the ones where Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione show us their lives and what they’ve become  while we were away made me geek out the most. Their personalities, their relationship dynamics, everything felt so right. The dialogue truly made me feel like I was reading the Harry gang as adults, not merely some fan fiction wishy washy wish fulfillment. Trust me on this, that stuff is familiar territory for me.
  3. Anything from the trolley? Reading this screenplay is, in many ways, very different from reading Rowling’s novels. In a screenplay, there’s no room for the detailed prose of a regular Harry Potter novel, and I accept that as a part of the chosen medium, but it is something I missed a bit. That’s why strange little bits of information were so important. Take, for example, the trolley lady on the Hogwarts express. Turns out she’s actually some extremely powerful magical being in charge of not letting anyone escape the train before it arrives at Hogwarts. That’s just strange enough that I know it was a note Rowling had scribbled in one of her drafts somewhere.

Okay, I think I’ve gotten most of the geekery out of my system. I hope you all had or will have as much fun as I did stepping back into the Harry Potter’s world for a little while from a fresh but still authentic perspective.

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