Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Siri Yendluri, Special Features Editor

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Every Potterhead screamed internally (probably externally) and cried tears of joy when J.K. Rowling announced her new Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Taking place 19 years after the seventh book ended, The Cursed Child brings back the original gang, Harry, Ron and Hermione, along with other characters such as Ginny and Draco. But the story mainly focuses on Harry and Draco’s children, Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, who become the most unlikely pals.

The story follows both Harry’s struggle with his haunting past and Albus’ difficulty following in his father’s footsteps. This father-son relationship turns sour when Albus becomes friends with Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry’s sworn enemy and a boy who faces terrible rumors about his ancestry. Together, they face an adventure involving friendship and battles with villains, new and old, both of which are major themes in the original seven books.

Although some readers found difficulty in adjusting to the new format of the book, which was written as a play, most readers found the transition quite easy.

Junior and avowed Potterhead Arshia Sharma expressed enthusiasm about this new format, “I found it easy to follow because even in play format, you can still feel the dramatic effect of the story and can understand the importance of each of the character’s lines.”

Though I didn’t  have a problem with the script, I missed the adventures of the original trio, and felt that the plot was  too easily resolved.  For example, the original characters do not have the same camaraderie in the play that they did in the original books.

There are also some plot holes, confusing twists, and minimal character development, leaving me unsatisfied. Albus Potter’s character seems cold and distant, especially in regards to his disrespect towards his father (and yet their relationship miraculously changes at the very end of the book).

Because of the script format, I felt less connected to the characters and their feelings. Unlike the original books, which expressed each character’s inner thoughts, the script format did not provide the same rewards. The script includes the special effects used in the play, which are hard to visualize yet crucial to the story, making it hard to understand.

However, the special effects described in the book makes me excited to see the play, which will hopefully move from London to the U.S. soon. Personally, I am most excited to see Noma Dumezweni, whose casting as Hermione sparked controversy and backlash simply because she is black. So much so that J.K. Rowling thankfully came to her defense saying, “Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
Overlooking the faults of the book, The Cursed Child does bring fans back to their home at Hogwarts and in the wizarding world. Most importantly, the book allows readers to reminisce about the adventures of the old trio and their friendship. The Cursed Child even includes many references to the old books that readers will enjoy, as well as some interesting surprises and twists. But most Potterheads agree that the original seven books in the series will always be better. Always.

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