Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The Original Screenplay

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The Original Screenplay
Written by J.K. Rowling
Published by Scholastic Books on November 18, 2016
280 pages


A time and place where the actions of a handful of people… and creatures… will determine the fate of the many. Magizoologist, Newt Scamander, newly arrived in town, intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s magical case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…

My Review:

I loved this movie and this book! Now that’s a strong opening line for a review. But I can’t sugar coat it. My family and I saw the movie last weekend and I finished the screenplay shortly thereafter. Fantastic Beasts continues the wonderful story of the magic world. Ms. Rowling’s imagination has no end and I’m very happy about that.

The magical world in the America is a very different world than in England. I think Ms. Rowling’s opinions shined through into her screenplay (which I appreciate). Witches and Wizards can have no contact with No Majs (muggles). There is some very strong discrimination throughout the story which is pretty prevalent in America today. The American magical community is viewed as very closed-minded and isolated. As I was watching and reading Fantastic Beasts, I kept thinking “Newt, please take Tina, Queenie and Jacob back to England with you and lived happily ever after!”

My favorite characters have to be Queenie and Jacob. I loved their sweetness and acceptance of each other. Jacob’s realization that there is a magical world is so funny and brings a lot levity to the story. Queenie’s use of legilimency would make someone feel uncomfortable; but, she is so sweet and empathic it really didn’t seem untoward. I really loved Queenie and Jacob’s budding relationship. I hope it continues and flourishes in the movies to come.

As I was reading the screenplay, I could vividly see the movie playing out in my head. I really like this format; it makes for fun reading. Like the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts is fast-paced and quick to read. But make sure you see the movie first; it makes the screenplay so much more fun to read.



Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31, 2016
327 pages
Purchased at Barnes and Noble


It was always difficult to be Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of the family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously , both father and son learn the uncomfortable  truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I had mixed feelings about this play when I first heard of it. I was excited about a new story from Ms. Rowling; but at the same time nervous that it wouldn’t rise the level of her other books. I should never have been nervous. The eighth story is a fine addition to this amazing series. We are given a glimpse of Harry and his family years after the death of Vordemort. However, we are given glimpses of how important our choices are and how they can affect our lives.

Harry is still our fallible hero. He is still trying to move on from the Battle at Hogwarts and at the same time having to raise three kids with his wife, Ginny.  It seems Albus is having difficulty dealing with Harry’s past as well. Harry is not doing a great job helping Albus deal with his problems. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but Albus is a little different, house-wise, than the rest of his family. It does cause some angst as well.

I think the heart of the story is the friendship between Albus and Scorpius (Draco’s son). I think their relationship is really special and has the possibility of bringing three families together. For it is my opinion, that Albus and Scorpius will marry later on down the road. Their relationship will finally bring an end to hatred and animosity between the Potters/Weasleys and the Malfoys.

Also, in The Cursed Child, our choices can make or break our world. Albus and Scorpius made some serious bad decisions that gave us a glimpse of what would have happened if Voldemort won the Battle of Hogswart. First, Albus wouldn’t even been born. Second, Scorpius had to find a way to right his mistakes. Enter Severus Snape and all I can say is “Always.” Snape is still the questionable hero that we all either love or hate.

In the end, love is what is matters. Love will bring acceptance and forgiveness. Love will unite. Love will bring families together. Love conquers all.