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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Return to Hogwarts first reviews are in: ‘Unearths genuine sincerity’

Featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, among others, Return to Hogwarts revisits the memorable moments from the movies.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 30, 2021 8:27:06 am
harry potter reunionEmma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint in a still from Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. (Photo: HBO Max)

The first reviews of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts are out. The trailer of the reunion special dropped earlier this month and promised a nostalgic ride for fans of the film franchise. Featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, among others, Return to Hogwarts revisits the memorable moments from the movies.

The first reviews suggest that Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will be a two-hour nostalgia ride for fans but might feel a little too indulgent.

In her review, Variety’s Caroline Framke wrote, “Depending on whether you’re a longtime fan or a skeptical observer of the franchise, this wholehearted embrace of bottled magic may either thrill or bore you right off the bat. For anyone whose loyalties lie somewhere in between (as is the case for this viewer, a onetime “Harry Potter” obsessive whose devotion faded into adulthood), “Return to Hogwarts” manages to unearth enough genuine sincerity, and occasionally even jolts of pathos, to keep from becoming quite as sticky sweet as one of Harry’s treacle tarts.”

Wall Street Journal’s John Anderson opined, “What’s all wrong is the tone of relentless self-congratulation maintained throughout the nearly two-hour show, the actors’ stroking of each other’s egos and the inflated sense of importance everyone gives the movies—they were important, yes, but it’s tiresome hearing it again and again.”

Metro.co.uk’s Sabrina Karr wrote in her review, “While there are some notable faces missing from the programme, it’s heartening to see many of the actors come together for what might be the first time in years. Gary Oldman and Daniel mirror Sirius Black and Harry with their heartwarming bond, while watching the Weasleys reunite in the Burrow is truly a delight.”

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