The potterians (but not only) today celebrate the new year with the arrival.
The awaited reunion of the cast of the film saga in the special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts made for HBO Max and available, in our country, on Sky and Now .
A special event , created precisely on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of The Philosopher’s Stone at the Cinema, which sees many of the original performers as protagonists, again at the Leavesden Studios where most of the series was shot.
Those who have already seen the fun reunion of Friends should be warned: despite the premises, the result is decidedly different, due to some very specific choices of setting. The Potter special, in fact, is much more pigeonholed and much less spontaneous and “genuine”, with a much more documentary imprint.
The glossy start is very promising, but it is a matter of minutes that turn out to be the only real moments in which the cast members interact with each other without being slicked by the “interview effect” in groups of two or three people.
For the rest, the setting is that of the sequential documentary, with all the films of the saga revisited by the protagonists, between production issues and others much more personal.
The celebration, therefore, is of the entire saga, with notable emotional peaks and the presence, as well as the “Golden trio” and many of the important interpreters of the saga, also of all the directors involved: Columbus, Cuarón, Newell and Yates, which report some of the most interesting anecdotes and production details.
Beyond the intro, all the interventions take place within the sets of the various films: the common rooms, the classrooms, the Gringotts, with groups of two or three talents that evoke beautiful or difficult, but still unforgettable, moments of the processing. of the eight films, interspersed with archival material and clips from the films.
From this point of view, although the editing work is very well taken care of and there is not a single moment of tiredness in an hour and forty of special, it must be said that unpublished details come out a few: all the footage behind the scenes is already known to the most avid fans and even some anecdotes have already been recalled previously by their protagonists. Nonetheless, this diminishes its generic interest, especially among the less attentive and less knowledgeable public on the subject; moreover, some small gems here and there are present and worthy of note, while those already known speak, more than through words, in gestures, expressions and emotions.
If Return to Hogwarts actually pays the price of having a very precise and didactic approach, it earns a lot when it is visibly the feeling of its protagonists to speak, the playful eyes, the hugs, the laughs, even the embarrassment, together with the awareness of having created and carried on for years something unique, which has marked their lives and that of (literally) millions of young people who grew up with the saga and brought it into their lives, making it known in turn to the next generation.
More a documentary than an informal reunion between old friends who have shared ten (important) years of their life, therefore, with some excellent absence and a certain arbitrariness of contents: what counts, however, is the feeling, the memory, the one that constantly reminds us of this saga. After all this time? All time.