Even though the Harry Potter saga came to an end with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” almost a decade ago, fans of the wizarding world have always gravitated back to the Harry Potter universe with a sort of fervor that’s matched by only a few series.
So when it was announced that “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child,” officially introduced as the “eighth story in the Harry Potter series,” would be released worldwide as a screenplay on July 31, fans jumped at the opportunity to dive back in the series.
The expectations, however, weren’t matched. The screenplay, to put it bluntly, is a mess — quite literally. It has a messy plot and a childish premise. For instance, are we really supposed to believe that there’s only one Time Turner left? There are also a number of plot holes in the story. Things that were resolved in previous books suddenly are issues again simply because they are convenient plot devices. It feels very inconsistent and ends up leaving the reader uncomfortable. You want to enjoy the book, but you can’t stop thinking that the things occurring shouldn’t be happening.
The worst part, however, is that there is no true knowledge of the characters. The depictions of previous characters — Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, etc — is so off the mark that they end up seeming like caricatures of their previous selves. The result is a lack of motivation behind their actions and speeches — the reader could not care less about the parts in which they appear.
And now the best, and most frustrating, point of the screenplay: Albus, the second son of Harry Potter, and Scorpius, the son of Harry’s school nemesis, Draco Malfoy. Their friendship is the center of the play, and because they are new characters and there is nothing to compare them to, they feel fresh. Their relationship is an interesting one. They are obviously devoted to each other — constantly expressing their affection and sharing intimate hugs one moment, only to tell the reader that they are “totally into girls” in the next. A huge “no homo” sign is once again held high. If only the story was focused on developing the adventures of Albus and Scorpius instead of revisiting plots we’d already seen in previous books. The screenplay could have worked wonderfully as a standalone in the Harry Potter universe.
And although the screenplay wasn’t written by Rowling, the expectation was that it would be written by someone who feels comfortable exploring, and expanding, the universe she created. Instead, the work is amateurish at best — something resembling the fanfiction written by a 14-year-old looking to find out what happened after the “all was well” that so masterfully concluded the tale of Harry Potter.