Format Read: Hardback
Published by Hachette on November 18th 2016
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When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…
I don’t say this often, but this is one book you should read after you see the movie.
To be honest, I didn’t really have any expectations when I went to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yes, I love Harry Potter and its extended universe like any other reader, but I just didn’t know what to make of a movie adaptation of one of Harry’s required reading materials. But I shouldn’t have worried because J.K. Rowling is kween and there’s absolutely nothing she can’t do to bring the extended universe to life.
I enjoyed the movie, but I loved the screenplay. Watching the movie made me extremely excited, but the faced paced nature of the film meant I wasn’t able to absorb every little detail all at once. Being able to pick up the screenplay and revisit the story at my own pace made the whole world come to life, and the characters really jumped off the pages.
Newt Scamander is an awesome character, and I don’t think a single soul in the world thought Eddie Redmayne was a bad casting choice for him. His quirks and love for his creatures really captured my heart and I looked forward to every scene he appeared in. Having watched the movie first, I could vividly picture all the scenes in my head while I read the screenplay. Remember that Erumpent scene? Definitely one of my favourite 😀
While I adored Newt, the standout character for me would definitely have to be Jacob Kowalski, the no-maj that stumbled upon the magical world when he and Newt had a mix up of briefcases at a bank in New York. His character popped off the screen and the books, and I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I’m extremely glad that in a movie about wizards, a non-magical character had such a huge role to play in it. I want to try some giggle water now!
And what can I say about the magical creatures besides needing MORE! I loved the glimpses we had into Newt’s briefcase, and his chase to capture the ones that escaped was way too short. Definitely need a Niffler in my life <3
While there were definitely highlights and some delightful characters, I wasn’t really a huge fan of anyone else besides Newt and Kowalski. Tina and Queenie fell flat for me, and the biggest disappointment would probably have to be the entire MACUSA staff. The President Seraphina Picquery was such a weak and blank character, and not given enough screen time for her to rise to her full potential.
One point I made when I finished watching the movie was that the entire film felt quite disjointed, like they were trying to cram in too many different storylines at once. Thankfully (and I’m assuming the pace at which I read the screenplay had a lot to do with this) this wasn’t the case with the book as I got to absorb a scene before I moved on to the next one. And while I’ll continue to push readers to watch the movie first, the one negative point about this is that Johnny Depp’s character is pretty much scarred in your brain when you read the screenplay after the film. View Spoiler »I couldn’t for the life of me imagine anyone else as Grindelwald…and not in a good way. I personally am not a fan of this casting choice or his hair for that matter. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT HAIR CHOICE?! That is not what Grindelwald looks like >:( « Hide Spoiler
Fantastic Beasts is definitely a multi-medium story that should be enjoyed together. The movie and the screenplay book go hand-in-hand, and if you’re like me who tend to miss details when watching a film for the first time, then I’d highly recommend that you follow up by reading the screenplay.
J.K. Rowling, you’ve done it again. <3
Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing a copy of the book for review!