September 17, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Curtain shot again. Also, I love the cover of this lovely book. 
“Love blinds. We have both tried to give our sons, not what they needed, but what we needed. We’ve been so busy trying to rewrite our own pasts, we’ve blighted their present.” -Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts one and two

Hello! I can't believe I have time to write about my feelings for this during such a crucial time. This week is about the eighth book of the beloved Harry Potter series-- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I got it a month after its initial release here in the Philippines because every copy of the book was sold in less than 24 hours. I had to wait for news about new stocks coming in and lo and behold, my mother, my sweet mother got me a copy.

Now, it's nice to note that this eighth story isn't anything like the books (although I know we've all been hoping for it to legitimately feel like it) because of it's a play so 1) it's not going to feel the same as reading the books 2) expect a fast read with less details on storytelling because it's meant to be staged where the actors and the sets and all that-- they'll be the ones responsible for the gritty little details we usually crave for in novels.

The play opens exactly at the moment where we left off the series in the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows. We were intoduced to a very sweet Albus Potter-- who turned to be the other way around apparently. He was so full of angst, which started to become a n n o y i n g for me as the story progressed and I couldn't find out what exactly made him as rude and careless as he is in that entire book. I believe that 99% of the time I was reading I was like "A L B U S S E V E R U S P O T T E R WHAT THE HELL"

Then there's Scorpius Malfoy-- daaaamn, I'm so happy he was in this whole story. He was that little ray of light in this whole thing. He's so adorable, and that part where he got so giddy with geeky stuff--the amount of love I felt for him there! I knew there and then that I was going to love this boy. I'm also happy we have him in this story because he somehow helped show how Draco Malfoy actually has a good heart. That was a part barely touched in the novels but here, we see how he got to raise a great boy, Scorpius. We got to see him being a great, loving dad and husband. I'm glad we got to see this part of a character who was often misunderstood. Also, I'm glad we got to see a big chunk of what happened to him after nineteen years. 

There was so much girl power in this story. Hermione being the Minister of Magic is sooooo cool! Girl power! I think we never really got to see a female Minister so it's cool to see our girl, Hermione, doing that for us. There was also this scene of Ginny standing up to Draco. Again, I'm just so proud of the ladies in this series. I'm just so proud of who they have become now. I wish there was more of these in the novels. 

Ron actually voiced out how much he loves Hermione. I was so touched in the scene where he wanted to do a marriage vows renewal. The rest of the novels, they were in denial, and now, to hear it from Ron's lips about how much he's thankful that he has Hermione as his wife now means so much for me especially since I loved reading how they were able to develop their feelings for each other. I just loved how sweet Ron turned out to be is in this story. I just hate how he's no longer playing a vital part in the whole action-- he felt like an extra character in this story because the majority of his inputs are just comical relief.

A particular reason why I was so excited about The Cursed Child was also the fact that in this story, I get to see my the young characters I read about (and loved) become parents. I was so excited about seeing more from that epilogue in The Deathly Hallows-- I wanted to see more of Harry being a dad. I love seeing "dad-figure" characters (reason why I loved Sirius's character) and seeing the dad character working well in a character I loved when he was still young is another precious thing. Harry being a dad and trying so hard and being the Harry who just has to learn his way through it. He may have felt a bit different in this story (I'm looking at that scene where he told Albus he wished he wasn't his son), but I still like this struggle within himself about being a dad. It somehow makes him more Harry still.

In the alternate universe where Voldemort finally won, Neville Longbottom was killed by Cedric Diggory, Ron and Hermione are rebels, in love but not together, and Severus Snape is alive and still moving to keep the movement going, I found myself feeling so many things. 

First, I'm not a big fan of the whole reversing time concept (except of course of that time in The Prisoner of Azkaban). I swear I didn't particularly feel too excited or more hyped about Scorpius and Albus going back in time in hopes of saving Cedric Diggory. Of course, I hated reading Cedric dying but for god's sake, of course, with a very very common plot line, we knew exactly where the whole time-turning thing was going and we were obviously screaming at Albus and Scorpius while they were doing this. We've seen it done in so many fictional works and it always uses the same structure. A bonus reason for me hating seeing the alternate times: Dolores Umbridge (need to expound? nah? good.), Harry being a tad-bit more annoying. The creepiness that is the Augurey. 

The only thing I liked about Albus and Scorpius reversing time was how we get to see Severus Snape in this story again, actively playing his role in the movement against Voldemort and of course, loving Lily. It's so nice to see him in real-time being himself. In this part of the story, I'm sure, he's pretty much more redeemed to us than the last time we saw him alive.I also love Snape's last words to Scorpius, those words for Albus-- I'm so happy I got to read that bit. 

Now, probably the most controversial part: Augurey/Delphi Diggory. W H A T. I swear I gasped so audibly during that part. I can't even find the words to say how horrifying it felt to know that Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort had a baby. In what part between the sixth and seventh books did they have time to do that? I don't even have the words to explain how weird all this felt. It's all so weird. All I can say is I didn't sign up for that mortifying image of them trying to make an offspring

There were a lot of emotional scenes in this book. I have three I want to talk about. First, is how Dumbledore cried to Harry. For goodness sake, Dumbledore lost his chill. He cried. As a painting. And I couldn't understand why that happened or why it had to happen. In the books, when Dumbledore confronted Harry about the prophecy, and admitting how he had done harm by caring too much, I loved how calm Dumbledore was despite everything he was explaining to Harry. I've always associated him with being calm-- being the clear headed guy. I hated how they had to make him "lose his chill" when he confronted Harry now. I'm not sure if this is only because I'm reading a script and it seemed like "ugly crying" to me instead of some proper confrontation. 

While that was a strong part I didn't particularly love, I'm starting off with the first one that I loved. The scene where Harry was watching Lily and James get killed by Voldemort and how he couldn't and shouldn't save them. Harry was holding Ginny and Albus's hands for strength. I feel like that part made Harry feel and seem more human. And it allowed Albus to finally, see his father become human. I was in the verge of tears with that one, imagining how painful it must have been for Harry to finally see his parents' deaths unfold before his eyes. 

The other scene I loved was Albus and Harry finally getting the much needed "dad and son talk." in front of Cedric Diggory's grave. Like I said, I love these dad and son talks in fiction. We don't get to see these kinds of interactions often and Harry finally knowing the right words to say (but hey, I always knew he was going to tell Albus how he never really had a proper dad figure lol) and Albus finally understanding how he's so like his dad (believe me, i know how hard it is to deal with the parent who shares so much of the same attitude as you.)

But while I have a lot of things I loved about this, I still have a few details I wished were emphasized or added in the play. I wanted to see more from Draco and Scorpius's relationship. More from Rose Granger-Weasley. 

Despite the bad bits, I enjoyed The Cursed Child. It's not as flawless as we all hoped it to be. It's not something the Potterhead generation expected. But it's something. I'll probably revisit it, and I'm excited. And I'll definitely want to see the play someday. I hope I get to do that. 

"A stream of thoughts" version on my tumblr