interest, interest 2016

Nineteen Years Later

Photo Credits here

By Yu BoRong

Nineteen years later, we get another glimpse into the lives of our favourite trio and their children. There is no book this time, however – it’s a play, spanning five hours, focusing on the next generation’s (mis)adventures.

Looking at numerous other reviews, readers of the script seems to be divided into two camps – those who utterly despise it and those who completely adore it. I fall somewhere in the middle.

The problem many have with this story, I believe, is that it is dry, over-dramatic and fundamentally different from the original Harry Potter series. It differs from what the audience expects from a Harry Potter book. However, what these reviews forget is that the Cursed Child is a different story altogether.

This is not Harry Potter’s story – it is a story about his children, and the children of his friends and enemies. It is a story presented in the format of a play rather than a novel. Most importantly, J.K. Rowling did not write it. Jack Thorne did. Naturally, it would have a different flair as compared to the original series.

If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to skip the next section. This is one story you’re better off going into blind; it’s worth every surprise you’d encounter.

Despite its plotholes, there were some parts that were brilliant – Albus’ [Harry’s youngest son] and Scorpius’ [Draco’s son] friendship, the trolley witch, Harry’s issues with Albus, the truce between Harry and Draco…

However, this story is not without fault.

With time travel as the driving plot point of the whole story, we barely got to see the world nineteen years later. A fast-forwarded glimpse of Albus’ life at Hogwarts was all we got to experience before we were whisked back in time to the Triwizard Tournament. This was a bit of a bummer for me – I was looking forward to Rowling’s (and Thorne’s) take on the world after Voldemort. The fallout, the rebuilding, the trauma of the next generation… I have to admit, I spent many a day considering what it would be like right after Voldemort was gone, and never have I thought it would be relatively peaceful. What happened to all the fanatics? The zealots? The people trying to resurrect Voldemort (again)?

Something else that bothers me is the way female characters are treated in the story. Notice how the plus points of the book were focused on the guys? That is because the girls are mostly sidelined. Rose [Hermione’s daughter] flounced off the stage in the first few pages, Astoria [Draco’s wife] was barely given a mention, and Delphi, Voldemort’s love child with Bellatrix, seemed to exist only to give this story a villain. Bellatrix was a character that existed as herself – awful, amazingly terrifying and evil (and married) all on her own without wanting a noseless half-formed man who is not even a pureblood – Delphi’s existence seems immensely contrived.

If you do read this play, keep an open mind and enjoy it as it is; and if you don’t read this play, well, you’re not missing out on much.

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