If you’re a keen follower of online reviews and the such, it feels like we’ve been here before. When the ‘Cursed Child’ script was released people weren’t impressed.
And it seems it’s happening again with the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ screenplay, with one Guardian review encouraging people to avoid picking it up all together. Before our inner Potter fangirl gets to raging, we’re wondering if they have actually have a point?
Let’s face it. If it’s got JK’s stamp of approval on it, we’ll buy it. Literally, take all of our money. The need is real for more literature, more filmage, more merch, from the wizarding world.
But what are we actually paying for? Is it worth it? This reviewer from The Guardian doesn’t seem to think so:
“skip the book, watch the film.”
While they admit it’s sacrilegious to say such a thing, is it justified?
Remember the nay-sayers when the ‘Cursed Child’ script dropped? There were complaints then that the text was dry, too slow… and even, rather bafflingly, too much speech!
When people say they're returning Fantastic Beasts bc they didn't know it was a screenplay, even though it says "screenplay" on the cover.
— Kaitlyn Leibman (@KaitlynLeibman) November 28, 2016
There are some important things to remember here. Firstly, a screenplay, like a script, is not meant to be read like a book. It’s an active thing that only comes alive when recreated, or at least, read aloud.
— Evy (@evykovari) November 28, 2016
Secondly, Harry Potter fans want it. Some will want to add it to their ever growing memorabilia collection, others will want to read it before/after seeing the film. And yes, some will buy it simply because its part of the Potter universe.
The same reviewer from The Guardian also argues that the ‘Cursed Child’ script has some merit because there are thousands of people across the world that cannot, and may never, get to see the play itself.
But surely, the same could be said for the film? Sure, the book itself costs the same as a cinema ticket, but it’s not just the money, it’s the time and mobility too. With school, work, family commitments, not everyone can easily hop along to the flicks.
Want to go see @FantasticBeasts again but too expensive! Haha have screenplay book! Win
— Cat Andrews (@godlessmimicry) November 28, 2016
So surely that makes the screenplay a worthwhile investment for these Potterheads?
Maybe it’s the lack of extras that makes this feel like a waste of money and effort: “the published screenplay is so empty when the film is so rich.”
It is what it is. Quite literally, the lines the actors says. No photos from the set, no added fun facts, or notes from the cast and crew. Sometimes, you have to wonder if we diehard HP fans are being exploited a little bit, because we will literally throw our cash at anything. (Although, you can WIN a copy right here on our site, you’re welcome).
Naturally, we think it’s 100% worth it. As bookworms, there’s nothing better than to be able to relive our fave scenes on paper too. And being able to have a read-along (out loud) with friends? Wonderful!
Are the negative reviewers of the screenplay missing the point? Or do you think Harry Potter fans are being fleeced? Tell us in the comments below!
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