Constructive criticism is always welcome. If someone wants to collaborate with me and write a proper screenplay or short story of sorts, for shits and giggles, please let me know.
Disclaimer – I love the Harry Potter series and JK Rowling. But lets be honest. These prequel movie leave much to be desired. Spoilers ahead.
Lets see what we can do..
- Movie did not need the prison break/ transport break scene in the beginning. They could have just shown a carriage of thestrals taking off and then a large blast in the clouds and people falling down in the water with broken brooms.
- If Abernathy had to be switched out with Grindlewald, they should have shown him just calmly walking out of the prison and casually transforming his face as he disappears into the crowd.
- Really, the escape plot was not even needed at all. They could have had the ministry in England talk about successfully transporting Grindlewald to England during Newt’s trial. Then before the final climax, they could show Grindlewald has escaped and collecting people for his army and that he replaced himself with Abernathy all along.
- Newt, lets talk about Newt. His hearing should have just been about telling him about his international travel ban. They should have accused him for creating chaos in New York instead. Then, Thesus could have defended him, saying he also helped capture Grindlewald, so he should be pardoned. As he is pardoned, Newt is mad at Thesus. He feels he did not need his distinguished brother’s help. He would have been fine on his own. Alright, but just be careful , they are watching you – Thesus says. Then Leta comes up to meet Thesus, but she sees Newt. They look at each other, have a moment, but thats it. No dialogue. Adds more tension to the scene. Thesus puts his arm around her or kisses her lightly, ticking Newt off even more. He leaves without a goodbye. They needed to show tension between the three characters. Thesus starts talking to Leta but she keeps looking at Newt leaving. To show that maybe she does have feelings for him. Or maybe regret.
- Newt meets up with Dumbledore, but he only talks about the magical beasts captured in France. Dumbledore has always been mysterious. He should have been pushing Newt towards Credence and Grindlewald but not letting him know he is doing so. He would just talk about the Zouwu and Kappa and other smaller creatures. He appeals to Newt’s sensibilities and his inability to see a beast in captivity. He also hands him a card, saying if he needs a rest stop in Paris, this should help him. At this point Dumbledore also mentions that Newt refuses to keep a house elf and disliked ordering the house elf at his parents house too. Maintaining the fact that Newt cares about all magical beings, more so than humans.
- Newt heads home and has his baby niffler episode. He meets Bunty and talks with her, same as the movie. The Kelpie scene does not happen. His extension charm on his home is not that big. He has a few beasts here and there but thats it. Bunty is clearly smitten with Newt but he is oblivious to her feelings. And no stupid water turn on scene for Bunty. She can have a personality without being a main character. And not be reduced to a horny assistant.
- Newt hears a noise upstairs. He and Bunty race upstairs to find Queenie and Jacob. Newt smiles at first, happy to see Jacob again, but then he gets concerned. Queenie does have Jacob under a love potion spell. Newt asks her about the Imperious curse, Queenie gets mad at him, how could he ever suggest that. This puts a little animosity between him and Queenie. She tells him about Leta and Newt being engaged according to that magazine, but he is unable to clarify to her. as Jacob gets sick and throws up, ‘probably over does of love potion ‘- Newt says, angering Queenie even more. Bunty gives Jacob the antidote. He comes to and is super surprised. He does not recognize anyone. His memory is still wiped. Queenie tells Newt that Tina is mad at him and moved on. Jacob notices Newt lighting up at Tina’s name, and become disappointed when he hears she has moved on.
- Jacob , his memory being wiped gives him the opportunity to be, once again, a muggle stuck between wizards. He is in a foreign country. He steps out and is confused to see he is not in new york anymore and he comes back in. Newt introduces himself and promises to take him back to the US. Queenie, by then, gets very angry at Newt and Bunty and leaves Jacob behind at Newt’s house. Jacob, once again, like at the end of the last movie, feels like he knows Queenie from somewhere. He stares after her but stays behind with Newt. Every time Jacob sees magic, he can shown to be in awe again, but also have a hint of recognition in his face. And he can keep saying, feels like a dream,or deja vu.
- Newt hears about Tina being in Paris form Queenie and deduces that Queenie is probably going to her sister. Now Newt knows about the Zouwu, the Kappa, maybe add the Kelpie to the circus, and Tina. This gives him motivation to go to Paris. The travel ban is now not an issue here since Thesus, his brother, already helped him resolve it in the past. He lies to Jacob, saying he will take him back home, but takes him to Paris instead. This goes back to how he lied to Tina about the beasts in his case the first time in the last movie. He also muses to himself that it would be nice to have his friend by his side again. Jacob hears this and asks him if they have met before, to which Newt casually introduces him to Pick, hiding under his collar. Jacob is fascinated and forgets about his question..
- Newt and Jacob and Bunty walk to a bus station. See, like how the train station was sort of special with the platform 9 3/4, there could be special entrance to a hidden bus depot, that looks like a an antique flea market. These are all portkeys and people line up to different items. As the conductor announces the time, they already hold hands and teleport. They can also show some people being left behind by mistake and the conductor going, sorry you’re going to have to wait 2 hours for the next one.
- Now Newt and Jacob and Bunty reach Paris. Jacob is nauseous after using the portkey. This is around the same time as Tina is visiting the circus. All this happens in one night. There is no exposition about Nagini being a Maledictus. For lack of a better name, lets call her Irene. Because why not. If she is a slave or in captivity, being treated like an animal, I doubt the owners would have let her keep her own name. Also, she only understand basic French. The ringmaster calls her an animagus, which are also rare in wizarding world. He doesnt know she is a maledictus himself. He hits the jail bars and she transforms herself into a giant snake.
- Tina spots Credence in one the tents nearby. He is also watching Irene with a frown on his face. But as soon as he spots Tina, he runs. Tina runs after him. She is not sure if it was Credence or not. She calls after him but he tries to shake her off. His powers are still not under his control. He attacks Tina but misses and sets the tents on fire.
- Newt, Jacob and Bunty reach Paris and go to the Parisian Diagon Alley through the skirt of the lady statue. Which was a cool entrance by the way. They are walking along the streets, where Newt does his idiosyncratic animal tracking antics to see if he can tell if any of the creatures he is looking for nearby. No mist tracking. He does lick the ground and use his wand as a sound magnifier.But no golden powder business. Thats an odd way to look for a lady – Jacob remarks, taking about Tina, having seen Newt’s reaction when Queenie mentioned her back at his house . What lady, we are here to rescue magical beasts – Bunty says, pissed at Jacob for saying that and very clearly jealous.
- While Newt and Bunty don’t pay too much attention to the shops themselves, Jacob is fascinated. He sees a clothing boutique with needles working on their own. He sees owls, frogs and cats , the magical kind, in pet store windows. He sees a group of children run by, dressed in robes, a type of school uniform, not Hogwarts, but Beauxbatons, and a witch parent running after them, yelling in french. This is akin to Harry’s experience visiting Diagon Alley the first time . This is the kind of call backs to the original series Rowling should have used in the movie.
- The trio hear the chaos and reach the burning tents of the circus. the Zouwu bursts out of one of the tents. The kappa running out behind it, running in the opposite direction. Newt focuses on the Zouwu and instructs Bunty to go after the Kappa. Newt motions his wand at Jacob and he gets engulfed in a protective bubble. He sees the events but is unharmed from any flying spells or debris. A giant Kelpie also bursts out from a cracked and tiny , mind you, bath tub and jumps high into the sky. It goes over the nearby building and crashes down. Into the nearest estuary of the Sienne. We only hear a loud splash.
- But the Zouwu gets attacked in the back by another missed blast by Credence. Here Credence, Tina and Newt come face to face. Newt is surprised to see Credence. Tina is surprised to see Newt. Newt gets distracted from the Zouwu and it flees into the city. Credence then runs, but Irene, as a snake cuts off Tina and Newt. Newt speculates that this snake is not ordinary and that she seems to know Credence. The snake then follows after Credence. Tina and Newt want to follow but the circus chaos gets out of hand so they stay behind to bring it under control.
- Newt goes after the zouwu and captures it, like in the movie. Jacob and Tina watch in awe. Once again, fans of how Newt treats these magical beasts. They then run after Newt as hears the Kelpie and runs towards the stream. He takes off his coat and shoes and jumps into the water. The team rush over the railing and stare into the dark water (its night time after all). After a few minutes, Newt bursts out, riding the Kelpie. I Love Paris – Jacob exclaims.
- Tina refuses to talk to Newt and Jacob exclaims that she looks familiar. Tina then spots Yusuf Khama watching her from afar. She had seen him take interest in Credence too before the fire. She walks up to him and they have the same exchange as in the movie. He then claims to know about Credence and invites them to his underground jail thing under the pretense of telling them about credence’s whereabouts and captures them. He is after all the last of a long line of pure bloods. He overpowers them easily.
- Tina and Newt get a second to talk to each other.Tina tells him – Credence is alive. Newt muses to himself — maybe thats why he sent me to Paris . But soon Yusuf is disarmed by Bunty. Turns out she could not find the Kappa so she went to search for Newt. Khama then collapses immediately.
- We then get back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore is teaching a class, but the kids simply leave when the ministry arrives, and that one kid doesnt weirdly defend Dumbledore. Also, the kids are all the same age, unlike the movie scene. Newt flashback does not happen. Instead its the scene when the Head of Aurors and Thesus visit Dumbledore and put magical handcuffs on his hand to prevent him from doing magic. I wish it was Thesus putting the handcuffs on. I think being a war hero, he should have a bit of decision making power. Its a short scene and only there to establish that Dumbledore is unable to participate in the final climax, just like in the movie. We then see Dumbledore contemplating in front of the mirror of Erised. We do see him looking at a younger him and Grindlewald, inaudibly taking to each other and holding hands. Dumbledore doesn’t look tense, he looks sad and longingly at the mirror. There is no mention of the silver blood oath locket.
- We then get back to the group. Newt carries Khama inside the house , levitating his body on to a couch using levicorpus. . Newt and Tina try to discern what could be wrong with him. Jacob looks around the house in fascination. this is another opportunity to show small things being done by magic. Similar to how Harry feels the first time he sees the Weasley house.
- Newt then extracts the parasite like in the movie.
- Jacob asks Tina, are you the sister? Tina asks him what. Newt says Queenie visited him and then ran away. In the background, we can show Bunty being a little jealous of how easily Newt talks to Tina. Unlike his stammering, under confident style with everyone else.
- Yusuf then comes to and tells the party about his unbreakable vow to kill Credence. He tells them how Credence is his half brother/step brother and that he and Khama are the last of his mother’s family – a long line of purebloods from Senegal. Half brother? – Tina asks. Yes, he is half Lestrange – Khama says. Newt is surprised to hear this. Jacob remarks on how he never imagined seeing a sunrise in paris. (its the next day)
- Newt asks Bunty to stay behind with Jacob and to take care of him, to her dismay, while he and Tina go to the ministry to confirm this in the archives. He also advises Khama to rest. He takes Flamel aside and asks for a small favor. Jacob mentions – what about Queenie, but the two have already left. We also get the little tidbit of Jacob meeting Flamel properly.
- We then get a flashback of Newt and Leta in Defence Against the Dark arts class, with the boggart. Here we see Leta’s fear. And then Newt and Leta talking in the tower. We also get flashbacks of other students teasing Leta about her constant magical outbursts. Newt being the only company she has in school. Mcgonagall is not the professor there. Literally, take any other british name for the extra teacher there in those scenes.
- Newt and Tina reach the entrance of the french ministry of magic. Newt says that he cannot be seen here since the british ministry is watching him and might get suspicious. Ministries keeps track of all people leaving and entering. He takes out a small vial of polyjuice potion. Tina asks him with a frown, did Nicholas Flamel give you that. Will it be enough? He shrugs and chugs it. He transforms into Thesus. He and Tina then enter the ministry. Tina mutters – do you just keep your brother’s hair handy all the time?
- Thesus! – Leta calls out. Turns out she is at the ministry too. Newt has an idea and walks up to her as Thesus. Leta , Credence, hes alive. And…your family history. I think he — Newt says as Thesus. She looks troubled. What is it?– Newt asks. There have been several muggle murders in Paris. And our team, we have been investigating. I think its Grindlewald. he has escaped . What if its a war again. — She says. Grindlewald has been captured, I was the one — but Newt gets cut off as she then pulls him in for a kiss. Tina is horrified.
- Leta! – Thesus calls out. Everyone is surprised to see him there. Leta looks back, and sees Newt transforming back to himself. But she does not let go of him. What do you think you are doing with my Fiancee! – Thesus screams and runs after them. Newt frees himself and grabs Tina , who is still surprised from what she heard, and they run towards the archives. They enter an elevator, like at the British ministry. Thesus casts a spell to stop it from moving, but Tina fires a counter curse, and another curse to tie him up. She uses accio and grabs Thesus’s wand as the elevator backs into the corridor. That was fun – Newt says.
- Tina and Newt reach the archives. They tell the shady looking lady at the counter that they are looking for Lestrange family records. Newt introduces himself as Thesus Scamander, auror at the British ministry of magic. . He gives Thesus’s wand as identity proof. This was to show how well Newt and Tina work together without much dialogue. You’re not a Lestrange — the lady says. I am – Tina says. Leta Lestrange. We are part of the British team investigating the muggle murders. And this is my fiance. The lady returns the wand and lets them go onward.
- As they reach the archive, Newt says -Accio Lestrange Family Records. It does not work. Maybe only a Lestrange can access them – Tina says.
(To be Continued…)