Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald (FB2)
J.K. Rowling | Kindle Edition | 315 pages
Released 16 November 2018
At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shaped the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films. – Amazon
I’m rather embarrassed to say how long it’s been since I saw the movie, but it’s definitely up there in terms of a favorite. After seeing it (all that time ago), the next logical step was to read the screenplay, which I also thoroughly enjoyed.
So, why has it taken me so long to do these reviews? To be honest, I have no idea, but I’ll use life and Covid-19 as a convenient excuse. The latter gave me the downtime to realize that I hadn’t done this review. So, let’s get straight into it.
They say that a book is always better than the movie, but I dare say that isn’t the case with a screenplay. The book (screenplay) is really just a description of what occurs in the movie. There isn’t that world building, nor inner thoughts and emotions of the characters that a book usually offers. It’s safe to say that the Fantastic Beasts movie is the primary vehicle to do all of those things, visually.
But, having seen the movie first, reading the screenplay does trigger visions of the movie scenes and characters. So, from that perspective, the screenplay is capable of triggering the scene etc for the reader, without the need for the normal detail of a book. That said, I don’t think that reading the screenplay before seeing the movie would be as enjoyable.
The story of Grindelwald has moved from New York across the Atlantic to beautiful Paris. Every detail is so beautifully depicted it makes this movie visually stunning. The settings are so believable and the special effects are second to none. As expected, the main cast are back; Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) – perfectly cast and perfectly awkward, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) – the lovable muggle, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) – my favorite, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) – the ever-tormented soul.
The underlying story is all about choices. Good vs bad, and which side you choose to follow. From Hogwarts to beautiful Paris, the settings are spectacularly brought to life. Grindelwald’s power is growing and we witness how incredibly manipulative he can be. Queenie was my favorite character from FB1, so her journey is hard to see, but I hope it leads to good.
There are some nice references throughout the movie that HP fans will pick up on and love. There’s also a familiarity that makes us feel that we’re already engaged in the lives and stories of the characters. We see Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), Minerva McGonagall (Fiona Glascott), Leta LeStrange (Zoë Kravitz) – Lenny must be proud, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), Nagini (Claudia Kim) – a central HP character as you’ve never seen her before. I remember how controversial the choice of Depp as Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was in FB1, but I think he did a great job. He has certainly been a master of unusual characters throughout his career.
I loved this movie. The climax is all about choices made, and the promise of what is to come is exciting, I can’t wait for FB3.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the movie and the book. I was already a big fan of Queenie, but now I have added Nagini to that list. In the case of Fantastic Beasts, the movie outshines the book. I recommend reading the screenplay after seeing the movie. To do so before would only give the reader a limited view of the wizarding world.