Saturday, 6 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Review

I thought I'd better get in there soon with my opinion on Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Little, Brown Book Group). The only things is, I'm not sure what my opinion is.

I loved the Harry Potter books and would usually devour them pretty quickly then be left feeling that lost and unconnected feeling you have when finishing a brilliant book. This one didn't have quite the same affect, it was there but not as strong as it had once been. Maybe this is because I'm a bit older, maybe because it's based on a story by J.K. Rowling but not written by her, but I think it just didn't have the, excuse the pun, 'magic' of the novels.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the '8th Harry Potter story,' but in play form instead of a novel. It's based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffay and Jack Thorne, and written by Thorne.

One of the things that I struggled with the most was that it was in script form. Of course it was going to be a different reading experience but I couldn't get my head round that for quite a while.
There are some stage directions, which help, but then the rest is just speech and it seems a bit flat, and in some places the dialogue seems a bit too soppy; I cringed a few times. However, I'm sure good actors could bring life to it and, of course, this is not supposed to be read, it's supposed to be seen. I've heard good things about the play and I'm sure it must be mesmerising, it's just a bit hard to picture, which I didn't find with the books.

It's hard to review the play without giving away spoilers. I think I'm allowed to say that The Cursed Child features Harry' Potter's son Albus and Draco Malfoy's son Scorpius. It also has, of course, Harry, Hermione and Ron, as well as some other favourites from the books. It was good to see them again and I liked where they'd gone with their careers and lives. But a few characters I felt were almost trying to be too much like themselves and just ended u as caricatures. Ron, for example, just seems to be there for comedic relief, which he is a bit in the books, but at least in them he has a bit more depth, in The Cursed Child it feels forced and a little painful.

There were also some characters who I felt weren't much like their characters in the books at all, I can't say without giving much away but it annoyed me.

I did like Albus and Scopius, particularly the latter. And I did like the whole premise of the play, exploring the relationship between father and son.

The second half of the play was better than the first, it flowed a bit more; the beginning was very bitty and spent a long time setting the scene, which left me feeling a disconnected.

The action picks up pace in the second half though and there was the usual Harry Potter blend of action, magic, friendship and this time there was also quite a lot more exploration of families and how they interact.

There was also a fairly scary "baddie." I didn't twig who it was until it was revealed, but now I've read it, it seems fairly obvious.

The ending was fairly predictable.

I'm aware this is a very vague review. I think, ultimately, they didn't need to do this play or book. Did I enjoy it, yes. As much as the books? No. Was it necessary, probably not. The seven books could happily stand alone. I wanted to know what happens when the characters grow up as much as the next person, but there's the benefit of knowing when to go out on a high and not drag something out.

Having said that, I would very much like to see the play, and it might give me a different opinion. But ultimately, I think Harry Potter could have been left where he was.

My Rating: 3 Stars

I won't be blogging for few weeks. I'm getting married this coming week (!) and then will be away on my honeymoon. I'll get back into blogging in September, including reviewing some more reads from my crime book bundle.

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