Tuesday 2 August 2016

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne | Review | Faith

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 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. 

- Goodreads Synopsis

This review WILL be SPOILER-FREE!

I have a lot of mixed feelings on this, part of me is very conflicted and the other part of me is happy that we got another Harry Potter story. It's honestly so amazing how passionate this fandom is, and how it's always around despite what other people think. I actually went to a release party for the book (Which wasn't that great) and there were thousands of people. There's a video I made from my visit there, so you can check that out if you want. (HERE)

There were many things about this script that I loved and there were obviously things that I didn't like. I will not be discussing them all in this review because there would be so many spoilers, but there will be a spoiler filled review/discussion in the future.

Let's start off with what a lot of people are saying about this book and that is that this script reads like fan-fiction. I tried to push this out of my mind, but once I picked this up I couldn't deny those "fan-fiction" moments. During my time as a Harry Potter fan, I have come across many theories and fantasies about this whole world. This script was like everybody's fan-fiction come to life. I have made the decision not to judge the play based on the script because the script is meant to be performed, not read.

This script was not written by J.K. Rowling, which is obviously something that was very uncomfortable for me in my opinion. I just find that when another person takes something from the original author or person, it will usually never have the same impact or essence as the original work. I think that due to this being adapted/written by Jack Thorne, so many things that we loved in the books was lost. Part of this may have been because it's a script and not a book or that we haven't seen it live. This was probably what led to this script being read like fan-fiction because in a way it is. 

Something that I felt was lost in the text of this script was the character. Now obviously, this is just a script and without a performer a lot can be lost. However, I am talking about the written phrases. Many things that were said in this script did not really sound like the characters in my opinion. To me, there were so many flaws in the characterization. The words that were supposed to come out of the character's mouths were completely out of context and were often not like the characters in the books. Obviously I know they're older, but even in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows we still got the same people we knew and loved. The only characters/relationships that I believed to be a good representation was Ron and Hermione's as well as Ginny's character.

However, I really did love Scorpius and Rose. I thought they were great characters. Albus Severus Potter on the other hand, really let me down. I just felt like he was depicted differently in the epilogue and I just couldn't believe how he acted in this book.

The events that take place were very unrealistic in my opinion. This is considered to be the eighth story in the Harry Potter series but there were some things that I couldn't really see happening in this world. It honestly kind of felt like another world came and clashed in with the Harry Potter world and it resulted in, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child.

There were things that I did like about this book, but they were very little things like characters and comedic lines. Part of me really wants to know how much of this was J.K. Rowling's idea, everything could be but there are also some things that might not be.

Obviously the writing is not going to be any where near the original text but a large part of me wished that J.K. Rowling was more involved in the writing. Even though it is a script, I still feel like simple things shouldn't be lost.

I would love to see the play, because I have this gut feeling that the play is much better. It has received amazing reviews from various places and Emma Watson loved it. Another thing is that I would like to see how the actors bring this script to life, having not been a very big fan of the script. Also, I would love to see the sets, the costumes and how they bring this play to life and to see if it feels like a Harry Potter story.

I think my issue with the lack of characterization is because there is no actor. It's nice that they decided to release this script, however maybe they should've recorded one of the performances for us to buy like they did for Phantom of The Opera the 25th anniversary, as well as Shrek The Musical. It is possible, and I definitely think that people would be a lot happier if we got the visual and not just the script. Hopefully one day, we will all get the chance to see this on stage.

Overall, my brain is so conflicted. I love that we have another story in this world but I also kind of refuse to connect it to the books. To me, I'm just going to view it separately, not only because it's a play but because it wasn't written by J.K. Rowling. This script did not have me feel anything really and I think that's because it's just words on paper and everything was so bland. There wasn't anything else bringing this script to life. So I would rate this script a 2 out of 5 stars.

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