Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K Rowling
Published November 16th 2018 by Little Brown
“Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? 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.”
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.
Before we get down to business (to defeat…the Huns – not sorry) I would like to make a point of saying this review is for the screenplay itself, not the film – that is a WHOLE other herd of mooncalves which I will certainly be getting to but I wanted to have separate reviews for the two as there are different pros and cons to both. This review will also be spoiler free (unless you haven’t seen any Harry Potter or the first Fantastic Beasts film, then you might want to reconsider reading this) so if you haven’t seen or read The Crimes of Grindelwald yet you don’t need to worry about this review spoiling anything.
I have many thoughts about The Crimes of Grindelwald in both film and screenplay format, after leaving the cinema a little confused after seeing this second film in a five-film series I decided the best thing to do would be to check out the screenplay. Although I very much enjoyed the first film, I still found reading the screenplay gave it an extra depth and helped me pick up on some things I missed the first time around seeing the film. The same is true of The Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay, apparently, there are some deleted scenes included but I don’t think they could have been that big or monumental as nothing seemed especially new to me but as I said, the film had confused me so it may I just not picked up on them. I will also say I highly recommend listening to the film soundtrack when reading as for me some of the parts seemed a little dry of atmosphere but that is one of the prices we pay when reading something in screenplay form.
The screenplay definitely added more clarity to a lot of the film and my favourite thing about it was that it also gave more of an insight into the characters intentions, emotions and thoughts, not as intimately or in anywhere near as much detail as well as being able to clearly see names and dates etc which were there and gone in an instant when on the big screen. This means I found the film less confusing but I now have more questions than ever but as a sequel in a five-film series that isn’t shocking.
As ever my favourite thing and the reason I knew I was absolutely buying this book no matter what is the beautiful art spread throughout. The cover is magnificent and features many important items and creatures from the film and instead is even more gorgeous with each chapter featuring a detailed and intricate piece of artwork in the same style as the images on the cover and there are many flourishes and decorations between the scenes, Minalima have created some fantastic art for this screenplay, even more so I think than in the first screenplay.
The Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay is the first thing I’ve tabbed while reading in ages and it really helped me to take stock of everything and allowed me to realise that actually there were a good few bits I enjoyed. (Pink is parts I loved, Orange is hated, green is for questions and yellow is for “this seems important” and I’m fairly pleased that it felt a bit more balanced. It’s also nice knowing that in two years when we get the next film I can reference all the questions and things I thought important from the second.
I think if you can’t get to see the film than this screenplay is an okay substitute but a difficult one as I don’t think you get the same involvement in this format as you would on the screen or via a ‘normal’ book but would do someone a turn and it’s easy enough to understand the bones of the story at the very least. I would absolutely say this is meant as an accompaniment, a way for people to experience the film over again and like me to hopefully pick up on more details they may have missed. Honestly, even if I had completely hated the film I would still have brought this just for the artwork.