“Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.”
Written by J.K. Rowling and a sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Crimes of Grindelwald begins with the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald escaping from MACUSA, and has set about gathering followers to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists the help of his former student, Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.
The following post is a review of the book only. You can read my review of the film here.
I haven’t seen the second yet so it was exciting to see how the story progressed. With more references to the original Harry Potter stories, including a scene in Hogwarts with Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, this second instalment is just as magical as the first and finally starts getting into what we’re all really here for – to see the conflict and history between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.
With new fantastical beasts, a darker plot, new characters we’ve been looking forward to meeting, and a look at the magical wizarding world in Paris to further expanding our experience of the franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald is very different from the first prequel but it also has so much more to be excited about.
Overall, I love the story and the nostalgia of this spin-off, but there is one major problem with it: as a screenplay, it is very limited and, in the end, is therefore somewhat unsatisfying. This only further highlights my wish for Rowling to have written a book version of this trilogy instead of making them into films straight away, as a book would have allowed more time to be spent on the plot twists, revelations and characters.
There are so many new names introduced in this second screenplay that it’s hard to follow who is who at times, especially when there are twists a’plenty concerning who is related to who and who is actually somebody else entirely. A book would have allowed more time on each of these characters individually and more depth into their backgrounds. But because of the limited detail, characters like Nagini seem massively underused when their name alone holds so much power, characters like Queenie aren’t allowed time to shine as they were in the first film and time isn’t given to explain their certain actions, and characters like Leta Lestrange aren’t given enough time to get to know properly.
It’s amazing what story Rowling does tell in the short amount of time it takes for her screenplay to happen (and therefore to read), but so much more is needed for Harry Potter fans. It does too much in too little time, feeling like a teaser rather than the real thing.
However, I will always love anything Harry Potter related and, just like the first film and screenplay, this second instalment ends on another huge cliffhanger, keeping you rooted on the edge of your seat and eager for the next one!
This book is a special hardcover edition of the screenplay for The Crimes of Grindelwald film, which you can watch the trailer for below: