Friday, May 19, 2017

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

I have a confession to make: I didn't read any of the Harry Potter books until about four years ago, and I didn't watch any of the movies until last month. I know, crazy.

Growing up, I wasn't allowed to read the books until I was in middle school when my parents decided I was old enough to choose my own reading material. But by then, most of the books had been published and the hype was slowly dying down (if you can say it ever "died down"). Simply, I didn't really care about the books. I was well on my journey reading through Lord of the Rings and introducing myself to the YA genre that I didn't think about Harry Potter until the summer after my first year of college. It was then that I was working in a library and had a lot of time to read while at the desk that, on a whim, I picked up the first book and began to read.

The extent of my Harry Potter collection consists of the book on top. I know, sad. 

And I enjoyed it. I could tell Rowling was a good writer, that she had good characters and wonderful world-building. But I didn't get swept away in the story like I did with Narnia or Lord of the Rings. Maybe it was because nobody was talking about it anymore. Or maybe I read them too fast or all at once to truly appreciate them.

It wasn't until Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them released in theaters that I truly got caught up in the "magic" of the Wizarding World. I watched that film, and I was swept away by the world-building, the characters, the creatures, and the magic. Maybe I related to Newt more than Harry or maybe it was because I love time-period pieces or magical creatures. Maybe it's because it wasn't about teenagers that (no offense, Harry) make a lot of dumb decisions. But I was... enchanted by Fantastic Beasts. And now that I've watched the movies and discussed the books with my boyfriend, I feel the magic of Harry Potter carrying me away. Finally.

So there was no doubt that I would read the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay book, even if I knew ahead of time that it was a script and followed closely with the movie. It didn't take me long since it isn't a long book.

I did, however, just order both versions of Fantastic Beasts, the screenplay and the textbook. 

Yes, it's word-for-word, action-to-action the movie. I don't think they added in any of the deleted scenes or anything that may have changed between the script and the final production. (Which is odd since sometimes movies keep improved actions or lines.) But it was still fascinating.

I was swept away by the illustrations by Minalima. The cover, of course, is brilliant but inside, the story is surrounded by the fantastic beasts and other little details that are absolutely gorgeous.

I think there were a couple things I picked up on while reading that I didn't catch during the movie. For instance, it'd been a while since I read or watched anything related to the Wizarding World, so I missed a few jokes that I noticed after watching all the movies and re-immersing myself in the world.

Mary Lou: "Are you a seeker? A seeker after truth?"
A beat.
Newt: "I'm more of a chaser, really."

Overall, the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is pretty close to the movie. I probably could follow along with the screenplay as I watched. But the detail that Rowling put into her screenplay to make this story come to life and the beautiful illustrations that decorate the pages definitely make this book worth reading. If you're a fan of Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts, give this book a try. It doesn't take long, and it's still as magical as ever. (And now I need to re-read the entire series!)

This is the best shirt I own. I've worn it like 10 times in the past two weeks. No regrets. 

Have you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

~I chose to review Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling of my own freewill. All opinions are my own.~ 

1 comment:

  1. amazing, I haven't read it because I have to buy outside my country