Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gridelwald, J. K. Rowling

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Title: Fantastic Beasts: The crimes of Grindelwald

Author:  J. K. Rowling

Pages: 304

Genre: Screenplay, YA, Fantasy

Is this part of a series?  Yes, Fantastic Beasts book #2 ( I understand that this will be a five book series).

Published: November 16th, 2018


           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?

My thoughts:

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.

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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.  General.svg

The screenplay and the movie are both out (don’t get me started on the fact that they released the same day…. I couldn’t go to the movie on opening night because of this).  Have you guys read/seen this?  What are your thoughts?


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