Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tells the tale of Newt Scamander, a wizard, and his beasts as they visit New York at a time where humans are very close to uncovering the witches and wizards of America. It is a story of good and evil, magic and adventure.
First of all, the screenplay is absolutely beautiful. The gold detailing on the dust cover and on the actual book cover are stunning. There is also beautiful details between scenes, at the top of bottom of the pages and also a few drawings of the beasts dotted through the book.
Since this is written as a screenplay, there are all sorts of film terms throughout. But don’t worry, there’s a glossary at the back in case you don’t understand something. This was super interesting to me, since I loved studying film in school, so it kind of takes me back to that interest.
The story is well scripted, with twists and turns, both in storyline and camera movements to match. There are funny bits, heartfelt moments and serious character development. I really loved the characters. The main characters were easily likeable, just like Harry, Hermione and Ron in the Harry Potter novels. They interact well with each other, but each of them is very different. The darker characters are dark enough to make them really interesting.
The film was amazing. obviously, I’d read the screenplay by the time we went, so I knew what would happen, but I still wanted to see it on the big screen. I thought the casting was brilliant. Each character was well played, especially Credence, who was super dark and awkward. Without spoilers, Grindelwald was the only casting choice I didn’t like. For all other characters I liked that they weren’t recognisable as being the actor. I don’t like having that moment of “Oh, he played Sherlock” (just an example, no Cumberbatch here) or whatever, so there wasn’t too much of this. Of the characters who were present in the whole film, Ezra Miller as Credence was the only actor I had watched before, but it was such a different character to the one he played in The Perks of Being a Wallflower that I could get absorbed in the story easily. Everything came to life on screen. The beasts were like nothing I could have imagined. The screenplay gives no real clues to a lot of their looks, so seeing them on screen was amazing.
I’ll always love the Wizarding World Rowling created for Harry Potter, but I was a little worried this would change my idea, with it set in a different time and country, but it was still stunning. I wish there were more spoken spells, but there was never going to be classes of spells for this group of adults.
If you’re a reader or film buff, get the screenplay, you’ll love it. If you’re not as fussed, or not as big a fan of Harry Potter as me, I’d still recommend the movie. Even if you’re not so keen on the magic, there is still a great storyline in Fantastic Beasts.
Thanks to Hachette for my copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay