Books: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay
Author: J K Rowling
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 304, Price: Rs 699
Fantastic beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald takes off from where the first part, Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them, ended – that is with Grindelwald’s arrest. We see Grindelwald in a cell at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA, the governing body of wizarding community in America). He is about to be transferred to London to answer for his crimes in Europe when things take an interesting turn. It turns out the person inside the cell is actually MACUSA employee Abernathy, who’s supposed to keep an eye on him. But it turns out, the persuasive Grindelwald has switched places with Abernathy – this is revealed during the transfer. As one can expect, he escapes!
Later, we see Newt Scamander in London appealing to the Ministry of Magic to revoke a ban on his international travel – the ban was placed after the New York destruction (book, err…movie, one). During the meeting, the ministry places a condition before Newt: Join the ministry to locate Credence (yes, he has survived the attack from the first film), which Newt declines, and the ban on his travel stays. After this disastrous meeting, Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore (it feels good to see a young Dumbledore) pays a visit to Newt, asking him to go to Paris and save Credence – apparently, Grindelwald has also gone to Paris in search of Credence, because he believes only Credence can kill Dumbledore.
We also find out that Tina is in Paris, as an auror, looking for Credence at a freak show (a kind of circus with magical creatures), where we are introduced to Credence and Nagini, a circus attraction who can transforms into a snake at will (I am wondering if she is Voldemort’s Nagini). Meanwhile, Grindelwald is trying his best to gain more followers so that he can rise to power and control the wizarding and the muggle population.
Without revealing much, I would only say this: Yet again, I find myself sitting on the fence, not knowing whether to hate the story or love it. Apart from the big revelation about Credence’s true identity (by which I was completely blown), I didn’t find it that interesting. The story just jumps from one character to another – I think the problem lies in too many characters: There’s no plot as such. There’s Lestrange (who’s story is very compelling), then there’s Newt’s brother Theseus, Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski’s unexpected arrival from America, and you also get to meet Nicolas Flamel – remember the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? Apart from a bevy of other smaller characters – it’s just too much to keep up with.
Though J K Rowling has promised answers in the next part (or parts, should we say), I feel it is time The Harry Potter universe is left alone. We are done with more spinoffs based on characters from the series. At this rate, there will come a time when even Dobby the house elf will have a standlone book or movie based on him! This just comes across as a money-making business nothing else – because Rowling and others involved in the project know that Potterheads (Harry Potter fans, for the uninitiated), will most definitely be curious about things related to their favourite Harry Potter.