So why exactly isn’t the cursed child as huge a fantasy and appealing as it’s predecessor? I have often experienced that when I am in love with reading a particular book, I find the next one quite boring initially. Even in the case of Harry Potter, I couldn’t really enjoy The order of the Phoenix as much as I did the goblet of fire; but still it had a magic around it which kept me waiting for its sequel. Coming back to the CC, I feel that of the 3 generations who have read it, it should atleast appeal to 2. By 3 generations I mean the the first one to be that of mine and Harry’s age group who are now parents and can still relate to the content of the story; the second one to be the one who have read it during the past five years may be, have not entered parenthood, and are still living the Harry Potter’s childhood magical fantasy; and the third generation that has just entered the world of Harry Potter and have encountered Albus and Scorpius even before getting perfectly confounded by Harry and his friend’s charm. So maybe it’s a bigger disappointment for the 2nd gen than the 1st and the 3rd. (By this I don’t mean that I wasn’t disappointed)
When I look through it, the first thing that comes to my mind is that CC has more the flavour of a movie; it lacks the detail of a novel, which of course is understandable for it being a script; however there is much more to it in lacking the magic of the Harry Potter created in the mind of JK Rowling herself. (I need to read her other books to decide if I am a bigger fan of the author than the product!)
Anyhow, about my disappointment with the book, excuse me for being judgmental as I am about to compare a very popular series with its latest, let me discuss the characters; let me begin with Harry himself, won’t say much but that I would have wanted him to be more connected with his children in the first place; but then it can be realistic as sometimes as parents we do turn out to be the opposite of whatever is expected of us. Not just that, I found it strange to find traces of Gilderoy Lockheart in his personality; he seemed too full of himself for having saved the world. I doubt if he had ever boasted of having done so in all the previous books. Seeing him giving autographs and being too aware of being a HERO is just not the true character of Harry, whom we had seen in all the 7 books to be decently modest.
Well Harry isn’t the only fantasy of the series, Hermione and Ron had a huge part in the popularity of the story, if not equal. And here we see that circumstances can have a huge impact on the personality of a character, which again in essence is in contradiction to the original concept; as we see both Voldemort as well as Harry to have quite similar childhood but different choices, as well as personalities. Both as characters represented the very basic theme of the difference between good and evil. The established fact that evil within can be negated through one’s personality traits has been defied in CC. We come across Hermione who is quite the opposite of the intellectual that she had been, as a minister for magic; not just that but mean and rude as a Defence against the dark arts teacher; with a slight glimpse of her real character when she willingly sacrifice herself with dementors, Hermione loses the charm that she had carried earlier. She transforms from a ‘major character’ in the story to ‘just another character.’ And what terrible thing has happened to Ron who has been reduced to a stooge in the play, appearing only as a comic relief to an otherwise twisted and intense plot. I doubt if the old Harry Potter book fans can relate much to this one with Ron’s and Hermione’s characters reduced to nothingness. It seems as if somebody did mess up history and destroyed beautiful characters.
Let’s continue to the setting of the play, yes the magic of the wizard world could not be expressed through dialogues much and I missed the magical details of Hogwarts and other places. Yes, the time itself had been well established,one thing that I enjoyed and which kept me hooked till I finished reading it.
Other than that, there wasn’t much in terms of interesting spells and potions, intriguing creatures and impressive imagination. It was more like an explanation of one’s dream with another’s point of view. And perception/ point of view is what changes the element. I won’t say that it’s a book not enjoyable but only that it lacks the special touch of what the Harry Potter fans are accustomed to.
Somewhere in the book, I had the feeling that the script writer had a fascination for Back to the Future as much as HP- an action in the past having a ripple effect to the extent of changing everything.
Coming back to the difference in perception, I don’t remember having ever read the word ‘God’ in any of the books in HP series,( please correct me if otherwise), so the word ‘Godless’ for Godric Hollow came as a surprise. The story seemed adulterated and polluted, which spoilt the taste.