“The eighth story. Nineteen years later.”
“To suffer is as human as to breathe.”
Yes, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts one and two is here and if I was to sum up my experience in one word, it will be “nostalgia.”
For Pottermania this is an absolute blast, a gala time where you go through the best parts of all your books. But, in a play format. Though, I am not a regular reader of “plays”, I have always found them better than prose. I am not saying convert all potter books into dramas. But, there is a lot of debate over the genre of writing for this one. Many people are complaining that a script makes it less appealing to read as compared to prose.
But here’s why I prefer a script over a prose at least for this trip down memory lane:
a) Broader Vision: They give you a larger vision, a broader view of things. For me, it is like seeing the youtube or facebook 360degree videos. There is a lot of things happening in the background and the way a play tells you things, a prose cannot.
b) Dialogues are more engaging and have a greater impact. You can literally read expressions and also imagine them (better) in a drama.
c) More action and drama: Yes, for example, the scene where Voldemort day celebrations are on and Dolores comes out of nowhere, there is so much happening in and around Scorpious. That particular scene is so vivid and dramatic all thanks to the way the stage is set.
d) Dramas can be read aloud. You can enact them, feel them, live them. Prose lives with you.
Here are the key takeaways from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:
a) A trip down memory lane: It is like a revision of all Harry Potter Books. Well, nineteen years later we definitely can do with one.
b) Intrigue, drama: I loved the adventures and the Voldemort Day part my favourite. I loved the nail-biting ends and the twists and turn with the time switches.
c) Untold stories: This book is full of all stories that were either never said in the open nor given a voice otherwise. To name a few, Draco’s analysis of Voldemort’s being, Harry’s complaints with Dumbledore, the intricacies of Hermoine and Ron’s relationships, Snape’s reaction to Albus and the future, the future of Dursleys and the day Harry lost his parents.
d) Friendships, always: Scorpius and Albus set new friendship goals for us. Of course, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermoine always be the center of the universe. But, Albus and Scorpius defy the usual and the fact that they stood the test of time, parentage, and dark magic shows how friends are all you need.
e) Relationships: This one is big on relationships, especially father and son. Centered around parents it does go deeper than the rest of the books. We see three Child-Father relationships: Albus-Harry, Scorpius-Draco and Rose-Ron woven around their own past relationship with their fathers or father like counterparts. Ron had a sane and loved childhood and hence Rose seems to be a sorted kid.
f) Magic: Magic, of course, remains at the centre of everything in the world of Hogwarts and otherwise. We see our usual spells being used in unusual times.
g) Hope: There is light at the end of the tunnel. One thing that Rowling started and John and Jack kept intact was of “hope” and “determination.”
h) Albus: Albus’ character is definitely worth falling in love with. He has many layers and we see it throughout the book. He is multi-dimensional and I like the way through various circumstances, we are shown his various sides.
A few things that could have been better:
a) Narrative looks a bit hurried or may be as a potter fan I am biased and always want something extra. Rowling spoiled us all!
b) A bit more detailing of stage and settings. I would have liked a bit more on the detailing. The acts and the switching of one scene from another could have had some extra flavour, like the description of music or clothes and detailing of props.
c) “Panju” – This one is a slight spoiler, may be. But I had to mention it here because I hate the name. Being an Indian I am over-skeptical and judgemental when such things are done. Hence, authors of the world, please be very very selective when you are looking for names. Who names kids Panju? We do not.
And as always it came with the best of words from the man himself:
“In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”