To those still thinking that the new release belonging to the immortal Harry Potter series is a book – it’s not. It’s a play. But of-course, if you didn’t know it already, you are not a ‘potterhead’, so you don’t care. To those thinking, ‘this information is stale’, well, let’s get down to the review.
The story picks up nineteen years from where Deathly Hallows ended. I was 17 when I read it and am 26 now. A lot of time had passed in both worlds. The challenge was to try and avoid that little voice in my head – J K Rowling did not write this, ROWLING DID NOT WRITE THIS, she only approved the script – when I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
But when the play begins at King Cross Station, with a much older Harry Potter, a dad of three children, there to see off his two sons – Albus Severus and James Sirius – for a new school year at Hogwarts, you are pulled back to a nostalgic world.
Yet, this is a play, so there are no long descriptions of each moving portrait in the school, no mention of the ominous candles hanging above the students. So the reader does not have the luxury to paint rich images in her or his head.
The theme is simple – it is about the turbulent relationship Harry shares with his youngest son Albus, who is uncomfortable with the weight of being the son of the ‘boy who survived’. He is the oddball, the son Harry sometimes wished he didn’t have but also the son he cannot imagine life without. But make no mistake, there are a lot of unexpected turns waiting to surprise you in the plot.
Like any son, too overwhelmed by the weight of his father’s legacy, Albus has a deviant urge to rebel, to prove that he is more than what meets the eye. He decides to change some things in the past and that’s when things starts to go out of hand, with alternative universes, deaths, betrayals and the possible revival of, well, ‘you know who’.
The language is simple, memorable and the pace keeps you hooked to each page, whether you like what his happening or not. And like always, the tale is about accepting who you are and making peace with it.
Jack Thorne makes you forget the pen wielded was not held by Rowling, unless you have made up your mind to make comparisons. It had all the elements of a Rowling novel, memorable quotes, friendships you wished you had, twists and turns that may upset many, minus the too many pages you would be dying to turn.
Some fans have been complaining about the format and also about the creative liberty the writers have taken with some established characters.
But hey, you don’t always get what you expect.