‘Harry Potter’ Movies Outshined As ‘Cursed Child’ Reviews Roll Out

The Harry Potter movies have their work cut out for them as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child prepares to hit the Broadway-style theater in London. Reviews are already making their way out as some lucky reporters have had a chance to catch early performances expanding on J.K. Rowling’s universe.

Controversy over the recasting of Hermione Granger is officially a thing of the past as critics are saying it makes little difference. Emma Watson has left the role behind and literally embraced her darker-skinned replacement. The story is likely to take over your sensibilities, confirming what Rowling had said about it previously.

The author of the Harry Potter movies and play has stated that if it doesn’t make you cry, there might be something wrong with you.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins where the movies left off. At the end of Deathly Hallows, we saw Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione sending their kids off at platform nine-and-three-quarters. We didn’t see it in the films, but Harry apparently has some stress as a father.

Once again mirroring modern times, the story of the boy who lived continues to deal with Harry’s childhood growing up without ever knowing his parents. This is a very real problem many adopted children face today, and Potter is determined to be there for his and Ginny’s son, Albus Severus. The play deals with him not knowing what he’s doing, as he does something he immediately regrets.

As the Chicago Tribune points out, much like in the later Harry Potter movies, Harry’s scar begins hurting again. Could Voldemort be back as Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Draco? His son has several problems to begin with, just like he did. His father was famous, and he felt pressure to live up to that fame, as his son does for the six hours the play lasts.

USA Today points out the fact that Albus and Scorpius, both being the sons of famous wizards, struggle to deal with that fame as they team up. There is always the constant ambiguity that separates good and evil, as the two appear to dangle precariously in the balance. Draco and Harry, their famous fathers, have even become allies now.

This tenuous balance actually reflects the stance which Professor Snape represented throughout the first seven books. In the Harry Potter movies and books, Snape was a strict and often mean character whose intentions weren’t always clear. It was only at the very end that we realize what drove him.

The Guardian claims that the script could use more editing, but technically it was written by Jack Thorne and original author J.K. Rowling. Some scenes and characters, such as the half-giant Hagrid, are wasted. On the bright side, the effects of the play use the entire theater. In true British fashion, the effects don’t steal the show away from its story and are being used with discretion.

Speaking of discretion, early viewers of the play were given buttons urging them to “keep the secrets,” or in other words, give no spoilers. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was given even higher security to keep certain spoilers from leaking early. It’s too bad that the Harry Potter movie of the same name was generally a waste aside from a few necessary plot points.

The New York Times says that Cursed Child deals a lot more with time travel, an element that ended up being a major plot point in Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s unknown how much Cursed Child tries to go back in time and fix the past from the Harry Potter movies and books, and you’ll have to read the script or attend the play in London to find out.

[Image via Warner Bros. Pictures]