Film #32: A Very Potter Sequel (2010)

directed by: Matt Lang
language: English
length: 214 minutes
watched on: 6 Oct

I’ve kind of classified this as a film, because I watched it via YouTube, although I guess it’s technically a stage musical or something – I don’t have a category for that. You can watch it for free on Youtube. At three-and-a-half of your best hours, it’s significantly longer than your average film… but definitely worth it. That said, absolutely none of it will make sense unless you’ve seen the original Very Potter Musical, and even less if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books.

It’s very like its predecessor in many ways, although I’ll mention right off the bat that there aren’t as many memorable songs as there were in the original. To begin with, a group of American college students chopped up different bits of the Harry Potter novels and stitched them together to form something rather unique – one of its major strengths is that while you may know the source material of the novels inside out, you won’t be anticipating how it fits together in this series, and the element of suspense is kept alive.

What I suspect happened in this particular case is that the writers of the series (as far as I know, this either is or includes Darren Criss, the actor who plays Harry Potter) realised at the end of the previous, uh, play that they had (spoiler alert) defeated Voldemort, and that there wouldn’t be much left for the plot to do after that, so they went back in time (using the time-turners from Prisoner of Azkaban) to the beginning of Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. And then they threw in all the elements of books 1, 3 and 5 (mainly) that they’d missed from the first musical.

The time travel plot is certainly more complex than the one presented in the 3rd book, and it requires a lot of concentration to keep track of it, as more and more layers start being added, especially in the second half.

All in all, it’s pretty good. Joe Walker, who played Voldemort in the original, steals the show as a Shakespeare-style-man-in-drag version of the evil teacher Dolores Umbridge, who falls in love with Dumbledore – who scarpers as soon as he realises that she’s not a man – and then proceeds to take over the school, in a slight variation of the way she does it in the books. And there’s a foulmouthed Remus Lupin who has paedophilic tendencies… as well as all the original characters. Draco Malfoy also steals the show.

Anyway, definitely worth watching if you’re a fan of Harry Potter and you’ve seen the original, which is also definitely worth watching (and better).

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