“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts” is an excellent anniversary program. This is how you get reunions!

“Harry Potter – 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts” turned out to be an exemplary jubilee program – the creators carefully thought out its structure, treating viewers with something more than calculating the nostalgia of the fans with a theater. HBO presents a peculiar pensieve full of memories of people who spent nearly a decade on the film adaptation of one of the greatest cultural phenomena of our time.
On January 1, a special jubilee program debuted on HBO GO. “Harry Potter – 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts”, which in just over an hour and a half neatly resembles and summarizes everything that is extraordinary and most important in this series. That’s right, this is material in the style of the famous reunion of “Friends”, which premiered in May, but much more interesting than it. First of all: the higher budget guaranteed much more attractive projects. Secondly: the program about “Harry Potter” does not resemble a talk show, but much more a sentimental story about this phenomenon, which consists of memories and stories of the crew members and a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes archival materials.


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Harry Potter – 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts: program review

This story about the heart of films adapting the prose of JK Rowling was closed in a meticulously thought-out form, not forgetting what is most important in Harry Potter: magic. But not the one summoned with the wave of the wand.

The picture is divided into segments devoted to the next installments of the film saga. Creators – fortunately! – They resigned from the completely unnecessary role of presenter, dividing it between the three lead actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Actors visit locations known from films, remember and discuss; meet other creators or actors, moderating conversations and giving them the right direction.

The following chapters of the film raise the extremely important issue of the incredible scale of the series phenomenon. On the screen we will hear a series of memories of older and younger actors, but the latter are the most important here. When they first appeared on the set, they did not know yet that their lives would change forever and their faces would be associated with characters invented by the British writer for decades. And so for years the kids laughed, played, taught, fell in love, cried, tightened their ties on the set, over time realizing that, in a sense, they were marked for the rest of their lives. And this is one of the strongest elements of this reunion – the potter trio, now grown up, looks at the entire decade of their lives in retrospect, two decades after the premiere of “Philosopher’s Stone”. So we listen not only to what is wonderful, but also to the irretrievable loss of a part of childhood or loneliness.

Harry Potter: 20th AnniversaryThe meetings between young actors and the senior guard are also excellent. Radcliffe and Gary Oldman talk about the growing ties between them; Robbie Coltrane confesses spending more time with the main cast than with his own children (and stressing that Hagrid will remain his immortal link with future generations once he is gone); Helen Bonham Carter remembers Daniel’s love texts, and the viewer is moved and laughed alternately.


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Okay, if you prefer, I will write for myself: I was moved and laughed alternately. I didn’t feel choked by a series of cynical gimmicks aimed at my emotionality. But I had the impression that I was listening to the conversations of old friends who had an amazing adventure together. Something truly unique and fascinating. Because how many film series have actually been made film after film over a decade, capturing the maturation of the world’s beloved heroes, growing up with their characters, with cameras? Of course, “Harry Potter – 20th Anniversary: ​​Returning to Hogwarts” also has a marketing function – but it is marketing of the highest quality.

The creators were also full of flavors – behind-the-scenes curiosities or fragments of ordinary, sentimental chats by members of the team, which – just like that – are great to listen to. Importantly, the unique aspects of each installment were duly discussed, with time devoted to all the directors who shaped it. The jubilee program is, of course, a card that fans will look at with glittering eyes, but also a new story about beloved films served with heart – from the “inside” and in the retrospect of time. You have not heard this story – touching, but also surprisingly authentic – yet. I think you will like it.

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