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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay Paperback – November 14, 2019
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While being moved from America to England, Grindelwald escapes and starts his campaign to gather his supporters and begin his crusade to raise wizards up in the world so that they rule over non-wizards. Lines are drawn and loyalties are tested as Dumbledore and Grindelwald gather their allies.
Newt doesn’t want any part in any of that, but when Dumbledore comes to him for aid he answers the call. It seems simple enough…. There are wizards that want to kill Credence, and some (Grindelwald) that want to use him. But, with help, there might be hope for the boy. If there is a way for the boy to live, and not be a danger to anyone, doesn’t he deserve that?
In other news, Queenie and Jacob are an item now- with very different ideas about where their relationship is going. Jacob knows what will happen if they marry… he can’t risk Queenie going to jail for him. Queenie wants what everyone else is allowed to have- love, a family. Grindelwald tells her he wants their people to be “free to love”…. is he actually the answer? Sides are being chosen for a fight that will forever change the wizarding world…. which side are you on?
I am torn here. I loved this screen play and I really, really liked the movie (I didn’t feel right doing my review until I had seen the movie, nor seeing the movie before reading the screenplay…. I am weird like that). That said, this was more of a plot moving device than something I can see running on it’s own merit. If I didn’t already love the series, and wasn’t already invested, I might not have even cared about this one- but it’s so important. You have your first look at young Dumbledore, already a bit of a legend if only a teacher at Hogwarts. There’s the fan favorites from the last book: Newt, Tina, Jacob, Queenie, Niffler and Pick. We also have some new characters that may be very important later- Nagini (Credence’s friend), Leta Lestrange (Newt’s childhood friend and his brother’s fiance), Nicholas Flamel, and other. Add to that, some great stuff with Newt and the beasts and I am set.
That said, I feel like there’s so much more that could have been done here. It was full length for both screenplay and movie…. but felt like nothing really got done. This was necessary to introduce the key players and explain future conflict. If you aren’t already sold on this series, though…. it can be a bit underwhelming. Visually, it’s stunning… but the first movie had better graphics and was all-around more eye catching. I also don’t know how well it’s doing- well, I hope…. but the movie came to theaters 3 days ago and I had the 3D screening to myself (hopefully just because it was a Monday). I loved seeing Niffler again, and the little nifflers. Pick was great and we saw some other beasts, which I felt were well done- the movie really helped me flesh those out it my head.
I didn’t like Queenie’s role here. She was all over the place…. understandably, but come on! I wanted her to be stronger, but I fear that she’ll just be a pawn. I feel bad for Jacob- and absolute favorite of mine. I did feel that Depp made a fantastic Grindelwald- he’s supposed to be charismatic, strong, a bit evil but someone that people would gravitate to. Nailed it. Dumbledore’s casting, as well, seemed to be spot on. I really liked his character. Having information from everyone’s pasts also helped flesh things out. Why doesn’t Dumbledore just kick Grindelwald’s all? Find out in this book. Who is Credence? Find out in this book. Despite not feeling like it can stand on it’s own, I am a HUGE fan of this one… but only because I am taking it as an installment of a series instead of just for itself. Three and a half stars… round up to four for the movie.
On the adult content scale, there’s violence, but all things considered it wasn’t over the top at all. I give it a three.
Don't imagine that the script is a stand-in for the movie. It isn't a novelization; it's a script, with instructions to the actors and the director.
Heroes, humor, sport, coming of age in a truly magical world, family, friendship... The series has all this, and Snape, one of fiction's most debated, loved, and hated characters. Brava, J. K. Rowling, brava.
When the first Fantastic Beasts screenplay came out, I hoped for the same excitement and delight, yet found it lacking. I felt the same about the movie - well executed, a visual spectacle, yet weak in plot, dropping breadcrumbs from the original series to keep rabid fans sated.
Without spoiling this book (#keepthesecrets), I sadly feel the same after reading the second. The book flap promises it to be the second of a five book/movie series, and I'll still buy the rest because, well, reasons... Yet it seems more drawn out and visual spectacle, plodding the plot along slowly.
The fantastic beasts of the title are everywhere, the illustrations and visual layout of the book absolutely lovely. I have no doubt the movie will match the richness of the world and Newt's ever-growing menagerie. The screenplay is written well enough to visualize the scenes quite clearly.
It's been seeded with familiar names like *spoiler* and *spoiler* that don't fit the story, just to bring them into it. There's some definite retconning happening to make this fit into the same world, with the same characters that we're familiar with. Some plot elements feel like they're echoing the original series, and multiple romances thread through the book.
And yet... As much as I feel it's a three star book, it feels a crime to do that to this author, this series. For the world she's created and keeps building on, for every fully realized new creature, every spell, every fan lifted into reading more by these books... I have to go with four stars, no less.
A lovely example of the writing:
Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know?
(off NEWT'S surprise)
You don't seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost."
Top international reviews
First we have the absence of plot. While a lot happens in The Crimes of Grindlewald, it doesn't really have much cohesion. Instead, it came across as a bit of a collection of nods to fans. Did you ever feel that Nagini needed more backstory? Or Dumbledore needed another skeleton in his closet? If so, this is the script/film for you.
Instead, the script takes the time to introduce a whole bunch of secondary characters and attempt to make the reader care about them by giving them stupidly complex backstories. Which doesn't carry an emotional punch, because we know nothing about them. At least the script does a little better than the film in this regard because we have the benefit of stage directions to supply us with character motivations - and in some cases names - which do not come across in the dialogue.
The script is also let down by the abysmal treatment of its female characters. From major female characters who are sacrificed to protect the male protagonists, to ones that just flip their evil switch in the name of "love". I really don't know why Rowling seems to find it so difficult to write believable adult women. Everyone in this book seems to either be a non-entity or conform to a typical archetype.
It also very much came across as being filler, as nothing is resolved in this story. As people have said that there are to be a further three films in this series, I dread to think what the next story will bring...
I enjoyed the plot, although it is slow moving and has a number of puzzling elements and convenient devices towards the end. I like that familiar characters who we don't know a great deal about from the Harry Potter series, like Nicholas Flamel for instance, have been included and relatives have been better explored in some lesser known family trees like the Lestrange's; I really appreciate these nods to the wider series in books generally so this was really great. Newt's creature collection also is visited a few times and new creatures are introduced (although there was certainly room for more!).
The largest problem I have with these stories is that I just don't think they translate well into a Screenplay format - so much is lost and the magical elements are too visual to be captured in dialogue in this way. I find it hard to admit, but it does feel a little bit of a cash cow and I'm not sure I'll continue on with the series as a screenplay if further instalments are released.
The Crimes of Grindlewald brings us to a character we first heard about in the Harry Potter series. The eponymous Grindlewald has been spoken of a lot in the Pottermore universe and it seems that we are getting to know a lot more about him and how he approaches wizardy. We are also seeing a remarkable resemblance of thinking to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (*coughs Voldemort).
What I love about The Crimes of Grindlewald is that it leaves you wanting more. Something that JK does best.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald – The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling is available now.
Would like to own the second screenplay book along with the first movie book.
Definately worth it if you want to keep the movie fresh in your mind.
Or remind what happened in particular scenes.
See how some names are spelt, sometime when a beastie is said on screen you can't quite catch it.
You also see how it was first written and then adapted on screen, the differences are subtle. :)
I'm certainly not going to give anything away of the plot line... but there's always some twists in the tale to surprise us.
Personally I find that hardbacks are definitely most appropriate and appealing for this type of book - a screenplay.
I know some people find it difficult to read a book which is actually a script, personally I just imagine each of the characters saying their own lines as I'm reading them.
I really hope you enjoy the book if you decide to give it a go and immerse yourself in the magic!!
I would of preferred it to have been written like a story instead of a script though. I think the book is better than the movie and it explains the story better.
The dustcover is very attractive, though it does attract marks easily - and arrived with one already.
The actual substance of the book is less elaborate, and would be better suited to a complete-ist looking to own the full collection, than someone looking for a gripping read.