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07 August 2016 @ 09:55 pm
Cursed Child: playscript review  
Non-spoilery review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reads like fanfiction - which, essentially, it is. Don't get me wrong, I like fanfiction, but if you've read a bunch of fics then there's not really anything special or unique here. Some parts I liked, some parts I was less keen on, and much of it was predictable. I did like some of the lovely magical details, there's some amusing dialogue, and some fun moments. However, this is a playscript and I imagine that there's a lot more to it - more emotions and the exposition that we miss in a script - and that it's visually spectacular. Overall I enjoyed it well enough and I won't be judging the play on just reading its script.

To expand on that - BEWWARE, SPOILERS AHEAD - there's a bunch of stuff that I've already seen in fanfiction: Albus being sorted into Slytherin and making friends with Scorpius, Scorpius having a crush on a disdainful Rose, the next gen kids clashing with their parents and not being their parents, Voldemort having a daughter, time travel to try and fix things - but to be fair, most of those are fanfic tropes I like. However, the old 'going back in time to fix things often ends up messing up the present' is predictable and as to Voldemort having a daughter... I get the theme, that it's about family and everything going in a circle, as Harry is unable to save his parents so Voldemort's daughter is unable to save her dad, and about not standing alone and all that jazz. But. I think it would have worked better if instead of Voldemort's daughter we'd have had, say, the child of a Death Eater killed in the Battle of Hogwarts, or something 'found family' rather than actual family. Something a bit less direct.

I also wasn't keen on McGonagall using the map to spy on students at a parent's request and I'm not convinced about the idea of Cedric Diggory - the guy who believed so much in fairness that he gave Harry the hint about the egg in the Tournament - becoming a Death Eater in an alternate furture just because he was humiliated during the Tournament.

I did like the old folks' home for witches and wizards, where people just do magic for fun, the theme of no one standing alone, Hermione weaponising her library, that Snape gets to kind of posthumously comment on his own death, some of the I-missed-those magical turns of phrase, the humour...Ron and Scorpius get some especially good lines. Overall I did enjoy it!

I've spoken to a few people now who've managed to see the play - who going in were in kind of the same place as me, who used to write fanfic and love the books, but are no longer hugely invested if a touch nostalgic - and they rate the play really highly, so there's that :)

darth_kittius: hp - save a broomdarth_kittius on August 7th, 2016 10:17 pm (UTC)
I agree that there was an overall fanfic feel to this as I was reading it.... especially with some of the AS/S lines, which I will imagine as being confirmed to be true now. Snape and the old folks' home were my two absolute favorite parts.

In addition to wishing Delphi wasn't *actually* you-know-who's daughter, I can't believe I'm saying this, but the other part that annoyed me was Ron's characterization. I mean, this Ron is how I like my fanfic Ron - a bit dim, but lovable. But that doesn't really track with books 1-7 Ron - he's never actually that dim, other than not understanding he liked Hermione, which, again, while I disagree with, is actually very realistic for a teenage boy. There is no way I believe Minister of Magic Hermione is with this Ron, and there is no way I believe this is where Ron ends up.
inkvoices: hp:gof friendsinkvoices on August 9th, 2016 07:33 pm (UTC)
Heh, I think the AS/S is enough for it to be true to those who want it to be true and a good friendship for those who don't. Which I like, because it keeps the focus on family and friendship over romance, keeps them wonderfully young and awkward, but doesn't step on the dreams of anyone who imagines them together.

I kind of liked Ron actually; I think he got some great lines, but then I also imagined that some of the more bumbling parts were deliberate on his part, diffusing tension between other characters on purpose, but it's hard to tell when we only get dialogue - would have to ask someone who'e seen the play. I also like that the dad - Ron - is the mostly stay at home, family orientated dad, but also with working at the joke shop, to Hermione's as high as a woman can go career. And the nod towards the fact that we don't always end up with the job or the life that we imagine we might have, but that it doesn't matter so long as we're happy. (But then somewhere I do have some old notes for a fanfic where Ron gets recruited into the Unspeakables and can't tell anyone, so they all think he has a low down job in the Ministry but actually he's working with a team of oddballs doing incredible things. So there's that *grins*.)
author_by_night: cool_largeauthor_by_night on August 7th, 2016 11:23 pm (UTC)
Found this via google!

I agree with you 100% that the Delphi arc was too cliche, and I too would have preferred her be the child of a Death Eater. Or, as you said, something like that.

I'm not convinced about the idea of Cedric Diggory - the guy who believed so much in fairness that he gave Harry the hint about the egg in the Tournament - becoming a Death Eater in an alternate furture just because he was humiliated during the Tournament.

Yeah, same. Especially with the scene where Albus and Scorpius meet him in the maze in the future they're trying to correct, and it's supposed to be sad. It would've been less sad if apparently Cedric not dying would've meant he became a Death Eater. (Or maybe not, since he wouldn't have been humiliated, but still.)

inkvoices: hp:gof friendsinkvoices on August 9th, 2016 07:38 pm (UTC)
Well hello! And thank you google I guess *grins*.

I think it would have been a nice nod to peripheral characters, to all the others killed in the Battle of Hogwarts and during the rough years, all the other lives affected, if she hadn't been an in-the-shadows but-actually-linked-to-a-main-character person.

Yeah, that just by being humiliated in front of a bunch of people he turns to being a Death Eater... I mean, he's a Hufflepuff. To some degree he's used to being mocked and made fun of. And the hassle during the Tournament. It didn't seem to do him any harm. As much as we can never know the paths a person might take, and it's interesting to consider, I don't think that fits with the character development we were given for Cedric. At least not for me anyway. And you're right, the impact of that on emotions in that scene muddles things.

(Actually, I went back the other day and started reading an older fanfic by Minisioo where Harry goes back in time to rescue Cedric, but then Dumbledore is killed instead. Interesting to see how that author chose to play events out, what they decided would change.)

(Also I see that you like Firefly and other fun things and we have a few mutal friends, so i'm'a gonna add you, HI)

Edited at 2016-08-09 07:41 pm (UTC)
Atlas of Cloudsfranztastisch on August 8th, 2016 08:09 am (UTC)
My flatmate has seen the play and says that for all its fanfic trope-y-ness it's utterly delightful. And very well acted. ANd the stagings brilliant. That being said, she did watch it immediately after Day X. Everyone needed good things after Day X.
inkvoices: hp:hogwarts magicinkvoices on August 9th, 2016 07:42 pm (UTC)
I heard that the magical parts, such as the telephone box and apparation, are amazingly well done and that the dementors and scary parts are appropriately spine-chilling :) The immediacy of it too, being a play, bet that creates a great atmosphere.
Atlas of Clouds: change my worldfranztastisch on August 9th, 2016 08:49 pm (UTC)
And often a lot of the emotion isn't in plays because they're meant to be performed. So I'm not super surprised that the script isn't The Best Thing Ever.
inkvoices: avengers:assassins huginkvoices on August 9th, 2016 08:51 pm (UTC)
Exactly. (I appreciate Shakespeare's use of language, but his plays were never all that interesting to me until I started to see them :) ) But I do like that they released the script, because it looks ridiculously hard to get tickets if you live in the UK never mind anywhere else!
Atlas of Clouds: felt like a kissfranztastisch on August 13th, 2016 01:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think this was the best way to do it. Though I'm sure they'll record it with the original cast and release it on DVD eventually.
inkvoicesinkvoices on August 14th, 2016 05:11 pm (UTC)
Huh, I hadn't thought about them doing a DVD, but of course, that'd be a money maker. Oh good :)