04 September 2016

Books: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child By Jack Thorne, JK Rowling, John Tiffany (2016)

"It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."

Despite some negative views from long-time fans who felt the magic and fantasy of the original seven books in the franchise is missing in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, I really liked the story. It is defiantly more adult and darker than Rowling’s other books (though by The Deathly Hollows, the series had grown up), but this rehearsal edition script of the new play, written by Jack Thorne and based on an original story by Thorne, JK Rowling and John Tiffany, works fairly well here.

Mostly because I believe this is probably the next logical step in the evolutionary life of Harry Potter, which makes the risk of doing this as play much smarter than doing another novel. Cursed Child is, of course, different than a movie, as it’s more character driven (well, it is a play, so like all plays, it relies on the visual effect of the actors performance and not some people behind a computer) than films. It also takes on a lot of different emotions that Rowling avoided in seven book series, such as the believable relationship baggage that sometimes happens between a father and son -and those scenes could be the most decisive for fans, I think as well. While it’s clear Rowling did not write the book, Thorne’s style is not horrendous as some might say, just different. But he still is able to bring right bit of mischief to Albus that harks back to the original novels. I also adored Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy, and his obvious puppy love for Albus (who possibly has some mixed feelings as well) along with returning favorites.

The story is somewhat muddled though, using time travel as a plot device. This allows for these new characters introduced here to (sometimes) interact with action and scenes from the previous seven novels, but it also creates a few paradoxes that befall any story that relies on this conceit –and which everyone conveniently ignores for the best. But while I had no real issue with this, those scenes packed an emotional wallop for me when we get to see Severus Snape again, which makes me hope they never try to make a movie of this play. Alan Rickman can never be replaced. 

Mischief managed!

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