Author: Jack Throrne, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany
Info: Little, Brown UK, copyright 2016, 343 pages
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 part and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
I've started reviews out like that before, I know, but this one. Well. Yeah.
I didn't love it. Not even sure I even liked it. But I didn't hate it.
When it comes to Harry Potter, I've always had the ability to separate the books from, well, the rest of it. I loved the movies. I loved the books. But I loved the movies differently than I loved the books. I never got worked up when something was left out, and I was able to accept changes made for the purpose of filmmaking. It's about storytelling, and different mediums demand different types of stories. I think I loved the movies as much as I loved the books because I could see the book characters in the movies. They were connected. Maybe not perfect representations, but the heart of each character was the same.
And then there is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A new medium. A new type of storytelling. And a new story, which complicates things. It takes into consideration (sort of) the context of our favorite character's lives, but it forgets the characters themselves. And that was my biggest problem with the story. I didn't "see" the characters that I had come to love in this story. They were identified by name, but that was really it. They were paper characters that lost their verve, their wit and their heart. Hermione was reduced to either a spineless administrator or spinster. Ron became a ridiculous parody of himself. And Snape and Dumbledore were forced into confessions that I don't really believe they would have ever really offered. And that's just naming a few.
On the plus side, you get a Draco Malfoy who has been changed by his experiences and a Scorpius who redeems him in a sense. (I kind of really liked the Malfoys. A lot. And definitely a lot more than I liked any of the "good" characters).
There's so much more that could be said about this story, and so much more that has already been said about this story. And maybe it comes across differently on a stage, with an audience. But in this format, it's definitely missing what I loved most about Harry Potter and his friends.
What did you think? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Do you accept it as is? I'd love to hear!