Gary Oldman emphasizes in “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” that the scene with the boggart has always stuck with him. “The imagination behind it is just incredible,” he says, further elaborating that the fact that this shape-shifting creature can be disarmed with something so simple and innocent like laughter and humor is what truly makes the scene earn a special place in his memory.
Of course, true to their scrutinizing nature, some fans have pointed out that this moment could have gone terribly wrong if a student other than Harry had something incredibly traumatic in their past resurface thanks to the boggart. “It’s really not a great idea to bring such a beast into a class in a school with no therapists or even a concept of how to treat trauma,” wrote u/AdamJadam on Reddit. Another user, u/RatATattedUp, replied, “I imagine if it [had been] written more for drama that lesson would be an interesting plot device to expose a student’s secret abusive backstory.”
While the scene may not explore its fullest dramatic potential, as Oldman states, its imaginative quality is exactly part of what makes “Harry Potter” so magical to those delving into the story, for both the audience and the professionals who actively contributed to the memorable cinematic product we thankfully got.