Friday, Oct 07, 2022

‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary’ Movie Review: A Nostalgic Reunion And ‘Return To Hogwarts’

Outlook rating
4.6 / 5

Actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and others take you on an emotional journey back to Harry Potter. Here’s the review of the documentary.

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint in the film.


Eran Creevy, Joe Pearlman, Giorgio Testi


Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Robbie Coltrane, Chris Columbus, Imelda Staunton, Alfred Enoch, Ian Hart, James Phelps, Mark Williams, Oliver Phelps

Watch Trailer

What’s It About

Cast members from all the ‘Harry Potter’ films reunite in a retrospective special in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the very first film. The documentary includes interviews and cast conversations along with some recreations of some of the original locations, which have attained cult status over the years.

What’s Hot

The boy wizard is back, and how! Even though the cast is not actually there to extend the story from where they left off over 10 years back, they give you so many stories from the shoot of the 9 films that you’re left wanting for more. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and the other members of the cast come together to tell tales and give the fans a background of what it was to be in the films.

The recreation of the sets and the original locations casts a spell on you as a viewer. They transport you to the same places which you’ve read about in the book, or rather, seen in the films. It feels surreal to revisit the same locales and relive the same experiences alongside the cast members. To add to that there are some of the most interesting anecdotes which are shared by the cast and crew, which include why they did a certain thing or at times, why they didn’t do a certain thing.

What is applause-worthy is that this reunion is not driven by just the three lead cast members. Even though they feature in pretty much every frame of the almost two-hour-long documentary, but it’s lovely to see the other cast members also driving the show quite a number of times. Robbie Coltrane, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton share some of the most unheard-of stories.

The music and background score, as usual, is eerily haunting and set up the nostalgic feel necessary for the ‘Return To Hogwarts’.

What’s Not

Well, this was a much-needed reunion considering the last few years haven’t been that great for the Potterheads considering the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prequel series didn’t quite get the enormous success that it was expecting to have, and to add to that the comments of writer JK Rowling about transgenders have sort of put a lot of the fans off. This was a great way to make amends and get the fans back to liking the world of wizardry. Sadly, it was not able to bring together the entire cast and crew, and a lot of prime members, who were loved too much by the fans, were sadly missing from the reunion. Even though the makers tried to squeeze in everyone, with some even coming in the form of old footage, it would have been actually good to see some more of the faces in actuality and tell some more stories about their journey.

The other major shortcoming of the documentary is that it used writer JK Rowling’s old footage, and she was nowhere present around the promotions of this reunion. It would have been great to hear some stories from her aspect as well, and her current views and opinions on the world of wizardry.

Lastly, the duration of the presentation. It comes solely from a point of fandom. This is one of the very few rare occasions where I have felt ‘I wish it didn’t end’. I genuinely wish that the duration would have been lengthened to bring in a lot more stories, anecdotes, and smaller cast and crew members, who played a huge role in making the franchise, one of the most loved franchises of all time.


Fan or not, as someone who has lived or grown up in the era of Harry Potter, you owe it to yourself. This is surely a great watch. The cases of Covid-19 are anyways increasing all over, and thus, it’s probably a great option to stay back home and watch this for some much-needed entertainment. I am going with 4 stars.