Let's Get Kraken

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being Published as a Book

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Well that was...that was something. I'm still not sure what to make of it. It was entertaining, but a part of me keeps describing it as the "Shrek 4" of the Potter universe.

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It's complete garbage as a story, especially for readers who can see all the obvious ways the canon is contradicted. People with a more casual connection to the HP franchise likely won't be as jarred by it but even they should find plenty to fault in the cliched premise and certain plot twists. That big character identity reveal might as well have come with a stunt of Voldemort jumping a shark on waterskis... while sporting a huge boner of course. 

Based on the reviews I've seen, the excellent production values in the show itself are blinding people to story criticisms. 

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I saw the play two weeks ago.  The production is phenomenal but the plot - pfft - it's like really poor fanfiction - there are serious logical flaws and canon inconsistencies.  It's a hot mess, really.

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Disappointing.

 I expect there'll be a lot of Albus/Scorpius fanfic appearing soon.

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I enjoyed it. It was fun, entertaining, felt true to the universe and did a good job with the central relationships, both Albus/Scorpius and Albus/Harry. The parenting theme was well explored, and I think the writers did a good job exploring our heroes in middle age.

As for the plot- ya, it was silly and convoluted, and towards the end got even sillier. But this is Harry Potter we're talking about. The plot of one of the most beloved books in the series is that an evil wizard wants to return to power, and so makes sure our hero wins a convoluted sports tournament so that he can touch a cup. The final book is a McGuffin hunt that adds some more McGuffins into the mix halfway through, and then they all McGuffin each other out. The world has always been inconsistent, which is part of its charm. Cursed Child's plotting isn't great, no, but it's pretty par for the course for this series.

Spoiler

And I have to say that I liked the time travel stuff in the first 2/3rds; Voldemort world was fun, and I was happy to see Snape and badass rebel Hermione. I think the ending would have worked better if they'd let go of the time traveling after that, though.

 

Edited by Caligula_K3

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Dull, thin as fuck and the dialogue is downright cringeworthy.  I want to know what line prompted the one young pre-teen audience goer to utter aloud in the midst of a slightly less than impressed crowd 'this is stupid!".  I'm going with the 'no way Jose' line is they kept that in.  There were a couple of others but that one just made me sit and think Rowling has gone a bit bonkers. 

Looking at this I do wonder how well her legacy will hold up.  The first four almost can stand alone and that is where she does well.  As soon as she gets into spots and pubes and first kisses the books become a huge pile of shit.  Or at least a big fat naked Emperor Trump that no one will point out is nothing but a Failed Cinnamon Challenge under a Boris Johnson novelty wig.   I hope she helps a lot of sick kids with the proceeds from this farce.  Otherwise she deserves to be run over by karma.  Then have it back up and roll over her again.  And again.

I read better plays in sixth grade trying to find a parents' night romp to put on for them to show where their money was going. 

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I am only halfway through my copy of the script, but the best I can say is that it is another way to be a part of the universe that really started my love of reading. 

Other than that, did anyone else notice that Ron seems very out of character? It's like they wanted to compensate for the lack of Weasley twins. He acted more like George than Ron. Yeah, Ron is silly from time to time, but it seems even more off than normal for him to be playing all of these jokes. Ron always wanted to stand out from his brothers not be exactly like them. He always had an identity conflict, and I'm not saying that couldn't be resolved, but this just seems so different from the Ron of The Deathly Hallows

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not sure how much Rowling actually wrote in this. I have a feeling she just came up with a general outline and let the playwrights go to work. 

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1 hour ago, BlackBethaRidesAgain said:

I am only halfway through my copy of the script, but the best I can say is that it is another way to be a part of the universe that really started my love of reading. 

Other than that, did anyone else notice that Ron seems very out of character? It's like they wanted to compensate for the lack of Weasley twins. He acted more like George than Ron. Yeah, Ron is silly from time to time, but it seems even more off than normal for him to be playing all of these jokes. Ron always wanted to stand out from his brothers not be exactly like them. He always had an identity conflict, and I'm not saying that couldn't be resolved, but this just seems so different from the Ron of The Deathly Hallows

I've just began reading it and that was my exact thought. Ron reads more like Fred than he does himself. The plotting also feels really lazy and the teen-angst drama on par with any number of lame TV shows. Some of the dialogue as well, "Thank Dumbledore!" eek. 

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2 hours ago, C Rutherford said:

Dull, thin as fuck and the dialogue is downright cringeworthy.  I want to know what line prompted the one young pre-teen audience goer to utter aloud in the midst of a slightly less than impressed crowd 'this is stupid!".  I'm going with the 'no way Jose' line is they kept that in.  There were a couple of others but that one just made me sit and think Rowling has gone a bit bonkers. 

Looking at this I do wonder how well her legacy will hold up.  The first four almost can stand alone and that is where she does well.  As soon as she gets into spots and pubes and first kisses the books become a huge pile of shit.  Or at least a big fat naked Emperor Trump that no one will point out is nothing but a Failed Cinnamon Challenge under a Boris Johnson novelty wig.   I hope she helps a lot of sick kids with the proceeds from this farce.  Otherwise she deserves to be run over by karma.  Then have it back up and roll over her again.  And again.

I read better plays in sixth grade trying to find a parents' night romp to put on for them to show where their money was going. 

Hey hey IM the caustic one, don't be stealing my job

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So... the trolley witch...what is the point of that? I'm not even sure what I'm reading at this point. 

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I must say, I am very surprised by all the negativity in this thread. Personally, I loved the book. And I must admit, I wasn't expecting to do so at all. I went to pick up my copy at midnight. The crowd at Waterstones was huge and I found myself surrouned with swarms of hardcore Potterheads, who like all hardcore fans are not really people I enjoy hanging around.

They  always have this sort of waft of desperation hanging around them and they are so terribly needy. In fact, I only went to pick up my copy on opening's night because I was never there at any of the other midnight releases, something which I have come to regret. I came home, threw the book aside and continued on with my life as usual. All to say that I'm not some Harry Potter fanboy who would worship something just because the name Harry Potter is on it.

Personally, I think that the assessment made by @Caligula_K3  seems entirely reasonable. I think I enjoyed it more than he did, but in general I agree with both the things he prays and the things he critiques. He's right that the plot isn't terribly good (

Spoiler

Particularly Voldemort having a daughter is quite the dumb plottwist imo. He didn't look like the guy who enjoyed a good shag.  And yet, while I recognize how lame that is, I still feel like it kind of worked. 

), but he's right when he points out that that can be said of most of the books. He's also right about the worldbuilding. And I, too, did really enjoy the relationships between the characters. Not just Albus/Scorpio and Albus/Harry but also really enjoyed Ron/Hermione. I also thought it was quite funny. Funnier than I remember Harry Potter being, although it has been quite a while since I last read them all (something I now plan on doing again, because of this play). 

 

I loved Harry Potter fiercely as a child, but over the years my adulation cooled a bit. I think this script was a great reminder that this series was always much greater than the sum of its parts. 

EDIT: I think I would have liked more Rose though. She was an interesting character. 

Spoiler

Sort of a dark twist on Hermione. Or perhaps a Draco Malfoy/Hermione hybrid. I would have liked it if she had gotten more involved, especially since that would have mimicked the original trifecta quite nicely. 

 

On 12-2-2016 at 0:39 AM, Darth Richard II said:

well its what...18ish years after the last one? so they can wait 10 year or so and then get the og cast back when most of their careers have failed.

I was thinking of that too (though less negative than you :P), but then I bumped into the one flaw. Alan Rickman has left us way too early :crying:

6 hours ago, C Rutherford said:

Looking at this I do wonder how well her legacy will hold up.  The first four almost can stand alone and that is where she does well.  As soon as she gets into spots and pubes and first kisses the books become a huge pile of shit.  Or at least a big fat naked Emperor Trump that no one will point out is nothing but a Failed Cinnamon Challenge under a Boris Johnson novelty wig.   I hope she helps a lot of sick kids with the proceeds from this farce.  Otherwise she deserves to be run over by karma.  Then have it back up and roll over her again.  And again.

Too harsh a critique imo, but you're right, the romance has always been wonky in Rowling's work. Although I have to admit, one of the reasons I liked the play so much is because I thought it did a much better job handling that aspect of the series than the original books ever did. I never really favoured the Hermione/Ron pairing, but here I thought it worked remarkably well. 

On 11-2-2016 at 3:28 PM, Good Guy Garlan said:

To be honest, Redmayne sort of killed my interest in FBaWtFT, I just can't stand him.

I was highly skeptical of this movie before, partly because like you, I can't stand Redmayne, but I kind of want to see it now. Just to see if Rowling is any good as a screenwriter. 

 

Edited by Veltigar

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I think it was a missed opportunity to do something different based on the new format.  It wasn't at all what I expected it would be when I heard Rowling was involved in a play that would "explore how Harry wrestles with his past and how his youngest son Albus Severus deals with the heavy burden of the family legacy."  I knew this going into this weekend because I had read all the spoilers after the previews started in London but still wanted to read the script for myself.  It does read like a fanfic story and not anything I would expect Rowling to ever be involved with.  (I think WTF was my first response upon reading the spoilers.)  While adult Harry Potter felt true to form a number of others from the original series felt quite changed.  And others entirely changed.  Albus and Scorpius were nice additions to the universe, I quite enjoyed them and their friendship.  (Scorpius is clearly Rowling's response to everyone who fangirled the other Malfoy's much to her bewilderment and dismay.)  While disappointing, it was a quick easy read.  I didn't hate it.  I enjoyed revisiting the world and some of the characters.

 

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Spoiler

 

It seems curious to me that Voldemort and Bellatrix should have had a daughter together, given that it was heavily emphasised in the books that Voldemort loved no one, and he and Bellatrix didn't appear to be on especially good terms during Half Blood Prince when the child would have been conceived.

I suppose one can rationalise it by arguing that Voldemort just wanted an heir, although even that seems out of character.  And, he would surely have sought a legitimate heir.

 

 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer
spoilers in a thread not marked as having spoilers

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Damn, I should have known better, even though it's not a spoiler thread...

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[mod] This thread is not marked with SPOILERS, so please keep that stuff hidden. If you want to discuss specific plot points and don't want to use spoiler codes, then please create a new thread and clearly mark it as having spoilers. Thank you. [/mod]

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11 hours ago, Veltigar said:

@Caligula_K3

  Reveal hidden contents

Particularly Voldemort having a daughter is quite the dumb plottwist imo. He didn't look like the guy who enjoyed a good shag.  And yet, while I recognize how lame that is, I still feel like it kind of worked. 

  Reveal hidden contents

Sort of a dark twist on Hermione. Or perhaps a Draco Malfoy/Hermione hybrid. I would have liked it if she had gotten more involved, especially since that would have mimicked the original trifecta quite nicely. 

 

I was highly skeptical of this movie before, partly because like you, I can't stand Redmayne, but I kind of want to see it now. Just to see if Rowling is any good as a screenwriter. 

 

I'm relieved it's not just a personal irrational dislike of Redmayne I harbour. Not sure what it is about him (it's not the gingerness unless it's envy) but he doesn't sell a film to me. But I'm keen on seeing "fantastic" because I too am curious to see how Rowling does with a story meant for the screen. I also like the setting. Finally, I'll be able to watch a Potterverse film without feeling like I'm missing out for failing to have read the books. Obviously I'll miss out on the references but from what i gather the story is going to be new for everyone.

I'm guessing there'll be an augmented reality app for the film's release because surely "Fantastic beasts and where to find them" is crying out for a lawyer dodging rip off of Pokemon go?

It's quite stunning how many people feel misled about the book not being a book. I thought it was pretty clear from the start that this was the case. I feel a bit more for those who thought the stage-play was by Rowling though as that maybe wasn't as strongly advertised.

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52 minutes ago, red snow said:

 Finally, I'll be able to watch a Potterverse film without feeling like I'm missing out for failing to have read the books. Obviously I'll miss out on the references but from what i gather the story is going to be new for everyone.

What :o You haven't read the books, but have seen the movies. What's wrong with you man :P The movies really suck.

53 minutes ago, red snow said:

I'm relieved it's not just a personal irrational dislike of Redmayne I harbour. Not sure what it is about him (it's not the gingerness unless it's envy) but he doesn't sell a film to me.

I think the first roles I saw him in was in Black Death and Pillars of the Earth. He was awful in those two projects. He's also got a very punchable, weird face. On top of that, like Jai Courtney, I feel like Hollywood is doing anything they can to shove him down our throats. That's enough reason for me to dislike him :P 

56 minutes ago, red snow said:

I also like the setting.

I have to admit, the setting for me, is the biggest turn-off. Even bigger than Redmayne. It feels like such a naked cash  grab, pandering to the yankees by placing it in New York. I fear that it will make the original series feel much smaller. One of the problems I have with recent developments is that Voldie was always sold as the biggest threat to wizards/mankind of all time, but he only ever seems to do anything in the UK. I think Rowling did a pretty poor job setting Voldie up as a global threat and I think FBaWtFt is probably going to exacerbate that problem by showing us a thriving wizard community in New York.  I'm also just really sick of seeing New York in stuff, it's such a vastly overused setting, particularly in blockbusters.

1 hour ago, red snow said:

 

I'm guessing there'll be an augmented reality app for the film's release because surely "Fantastic beasts and where to find them" is crying out for a lawyer dodging rip off of Pokemon go?

The other day, a friend of mine said there were rumours flying around of a Potter version of Pokémon Go. We had a pretty long discussion about the mechanics of that game. It's hard to really get something like a gym equivalent in the Harry Potter verse no?

1 hour ago, red snow said:

It's quite stunning how many people feel misled about the book not being a book. I thought it was pretty clear from the start that this was the case. 

I agree, especially since it says so right on the cover. 

1 hour ago, red snow said:

I feel a bit more for those who thought the stage-play was by Rowling though as that maybe wasn't as strongly advertised.

The funny thing is, it's based on a story by JK Rowling, which probably means that the things I personally found to be quite bad (i.e. the convoluted plot) all came from her, while a lot of it that I really liked (the execution) must have come from the playwright. It's really quaint. 

4 hours ago, SeanF said:
  Hide contents

 

It seems curious to me that Voldemort and Bellatrix should have had a daughter together, given that it was heavily emphasised in the books that Voldemort loved no one, and he and Bellatrix didn't appear to be on especially good terms during Half Blood Prince when the child would have been conceived.

I suppose one can rationalise it by arguing that Voldemort just wanted an heir, although even that seems out of character.  And, he would surely have sought a legitimate heir.

 

 

Agree on all points, it was the worst thing about the story. And yet I still kind of liked that aspect of the story, for all the ridiculousness. Perhaps we should see this as a sort of alternative universe Potter, where everything is the same as in the original series, except for the fact that

Spoiler

Voldemort is a total poonhound

 

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I also have to say that I'm surprised there are only two pages in this thread. When I checked the boards for a thread like this yesterday, I really was expecting pages and pages with commentary on it. Perhaps HP isn't as popular as I thought it was :) 

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