Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay" by J.K. Rowling

This screenplay for the film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (a prequel to the Harry Potter books) is humorous and entertaining.

The story: It's 1926 and Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, arrives in New York City with a case full of magical creatures. Inadvertently, Newt steps into a sea of trouble.

The notorious dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has been causing havoc all over the world, raising fears that 'no-mags' (muggles) will learn there are witches and wizards in their midst. Thus New York based MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America)* is working day and night to keep magical occurrences below the radar. To this end, Tina Goldstein (a demoted Auror) is scouring the city for sorcerous miscreants.

Several creatures escape from Newt's case and his 'Niffler' goes on a spree, stealing shiny objects and gold coins all over the place. While trying to catch the Niffler, Newt accidentally exchanges cases with Jacob Kowalski - a no-mag, would-be bakery shop owner - who's drawn into Newt's hijinks.

Newt and Jacob attract the attention of Tina, who promptly arrests the duo and brings them to MACUSA headquarters. However, Newt has a deft hand with a wand - and needs to capture his escaped beasties - so the wizard soon engineers a 'prison break.'

Meanwhile, no-mag 'preacher' Mary Lou Barebone is sure there are witches and wizards around, and wants to expose and exterminate them. To this end she founds an organization called the 'New Salem Philanthropic Society' and proceeds to makes speeches and hold demonstrations around the city.

Add a mysterious black whirlwind that's destroying parts of New York and killing people.....and all the elements are in place for an exciting magical adventure.

Other interesting characters in the story include: Newt's array of supernatural creatures; Tina Goldstein's sister Queenie - who's a legilimens (mind reader); Mary Lou Barebone's three adopted children, Credence, Chastity, and Modesty - who (supposedly) help with her witch-eradication campaign; Langdon Shaw, who's seen supernatural things and wants to tell the world; Langdon's brother, Senator Henry Shaw - a politically ambitious man who wants Langdon to go away and shut up; and more.

I'm a big fan of Harry Potter and I completely enjoyed this screenplay. Highly recommended to fans of the boy wizard.

*The term MACUSA (which I assume is a take-off on Yakusa) really cracked me up.

Rating: 4 stars


  1. This does sound fun. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. You're welcome Jacqui. It's a short fun book :)