Granted, it’s been a couple of weeks since the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released, but I’ve only now gotten around to writing down my thoughts about it. Which is why we’re here. Or why I’m here. I don’t know why you’re here.
Cause spoilers. I’m not holding back on those in this review. Everyone’s been talking about the play anyway, and I’m pretty sure most people have read it by now, so yeah. Spoilers. If you haven’t read it yet or plan on going to see the play, do not read any further!
That being said, you’re welcome to stay. But you have been warned.
Okay. So. Where to start…
The play starts off where the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off – as in, it’s the same scene. It’s 19 years later, and they’re standing on platform 9 3/4, and Albus is worried about being sorted into Slytherin. Which he is. And so off he goes to have a lot of angsty teenage drama and problems with his dad, who he feels does not understand him.
And Jesus, Harry kind of turned into an asshole. He says and does things that left me going “What the actual fuck, Harry?”. Yes, I said that out loud while reading it.
So here’s my first critique: sure, it’s 19 years later and things and people change, but come on! There are things in here that Harry would – or at least should – never have said or done. And he’s super hung up on his own past, which I understand, because he has one hell of a traumatic past, but he just overdoes it all the time, and Albus suffers the consequences.
That was my first gripe with this thing. Another was the fact that, yeah, sure, it’s Albus’ story, but James and Lily are scarcely ever mentioned. Rose has a small role, but Hugo? Nope.
Ron got weird. He’s like the cliché of the weird uncle working at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – I thought J. K. Rowling had said he worked in the Ministry? Wasn’t he an auror or something? And while we’re at it, wasn’t Harry an auror as well and not the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement? And as great as I think Hermione would be as Minister, wasn’t she doing something else?
So yeah, they changed quite a few things; some of those have been canon for a while, so I don’t know why they had to change that.
There were a few ridiculous storylines/scenes. I’m not even talking about the special time turner, cause that was a stretch, but okay, why not. I’m not even talking about the weird universes Albus and Scorpius created by going back in time over and over again; not even about Cedric turning into a Death Eater because he got ridiculed by Albus and Scorpius.
I’m talking about the scene on top of the Hogwarts Express. You know the scene. The Trolley Lady scene. Who the fuck came up with that? Were they high? Did they have to threaten J. K. Rowling with a knife or something? Or did they simply not care that that was complete and utter bullshit? Because it was. Of all the things that were less than great in this thing, that was by far the most ridiculously stupid. I mean, really? What the fuck?
Now, the good things.
Albus and Scorpius are good characters. Although going back in time to save Cedric is a horrible idea and they should have realized that, the things they did seemed logical. I don’t know, maybe Harry, Ron and Hermione are okay as well, if you haven’t read the books and know nothing about them as characters. Maybe their actions make sense then. But honestly, who the hell is going to see this play or read the book that doesn’t know anything about Harry Potter?
But good things. We were talking about the good things.
I can only say what I thought about the script, because I haven’t seen the play. And reading a script to a play is always a lot different to seeing it. So maybe some of these things are actually done a lot better on stage, and I’m sure the actors are all great and make all of it seem a lot better than it was on paper.
Cause I can’t really come up with any more good things… Which sucks. I really wanted to love this, because it’s Harry Potter! But it read… well, it read like bad fanfiction, to be honest. I totally agree with everyone saying that, because there are parts where it does not feel like J. K. Rowling had any say in this.
That being said, I still enjoyed it. I do not regret spending my money on this, and I do think it was a waste of my time to read it. And I absolutely would love to see it on stage! Not that that’s ever gonna happen… but I would love to. I want to see what they made of this on stage, with people.
Rating: Acceptable. I know my mess of a review above reads like I hated it, but I didn’t. It’s not exactly good, but it’s not exactly horrible, either. And honestly, I’d read J. K. Rowling’s grocery list and find it at least acceptable, because it’s J. K. Rowling, and it’s Harry Potter.