Score Saturday: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – James Newton Howard

I’ve seen this film a couple of times now (hurray!) and hoping I’ll get to see it a handful times more before it leaves the theaters. And while we are on this matter, an amen for the IMAX in Hyderabad. I’m glad you exist.

Moving on…(oh waitttt…where’s the movie review you ask? Well at this point in this all I can say is it’s coming! 🙂 )

So let’s talk about the music! But before that, a word about John Williams (the one who scored for the first three Harry Potter films). Every memorable musical piece from the Potter films – be it the Hedwig’s theme or Harry’s Wondrous World or my personal favourite Leaving Hogwarts – have been John’s creations. Yes, there were other composers after him who have done some splendid work but if you notice closely, they all still take off of what John has established. He was the one to lay the musical foundation for everything that was to follow.

But when I heard that James Newton Howard would be scoring Fantastic Beasts, I had my hopes high since he is somebody who always seems to have a trick up his sleeve. The big challenge now is do something entirely now, and not making it sound like an extension to the Potter scores, and to that effect I think James has indeed succeeded very well. And this becomes evident when you listen to the opening theme itself, which instantly registers as something new and yet carrying the same magical air. Go on, give this a go! (Note: This score makes more sense after you’ve seen the film.)

The delightfully magical sound continues in my next favourite piece (I’m going in chronological order). We are given the very first glimpse of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America!) headquarters in this one and I instantly fell in love with the motif that plays as the camera pans around and rises to give us a breathtaking view of the atrium! (starts at 00:51)

Oooh, this next one is grand! And for this, we need to enter Newt Scamander’s magically extended suitcase that is also an animal preserve. And at this point,  I was completely swooning over the three-note violin melody that may sound simple but captures that essence of adventure and “experiencing something for the first time” so damned well.

Now moving onto something a little more soul-stirring. If you’ve seen the film, this is the one that plays when Queenie asks Newt about his ex-lover Leta Lestrange. I know we’ve barely scratched the surface of Newt’s past here and there’s definitely more of Leta and Newt in the sequels. I wish they reuse and expand this theme into something more as what we’ve got right now is a smidge of a lot of things, with heartbreak and nostalgia topping the list. And I’d love to drown in this a little deeper.

(Try this: Put this on loop for about 5-6 times and tell me if it doesn’t do anything to you.)

An utterly sad one, the next. My heart went out for Credence. This piece didn’t register much in the theater, as I was probably already too overwhelmed by whatever was unfolding but listening to it now, damn, this is beautiful music!

Ooh we’ve reached the climax (of course you weren’t expecting me to cover the whole album, were you? :P). BUT, this is where it gets better!! And I think “Newt Releases The Thunderbird” (skip to 5:00) is gonna become my next favourite score from the Potterverse. And just the way everything comes together in this scene, tying multiple threads together neatly, is so classic Rowling that you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder.

The ending bits of this belong to Jacob Kowalski, oh you delightful being you. Obliviate!

Now we’re saying goodbyes and to new beginnings! My favourite motif repeats again, mellower this time. And the movie leaves you right here with a bittersweet smile on your face.

Well now I’ve taken you through a musical journey of some of the best scores from the movie, but ain’t no album without a kickass End Titles score. And James tries to do a John Powell and pulls it off neatly too! Equally magical and epic, this one.

Have a great day, no-majs! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out I’m a Ravenclaw after all.

Screenshot from 2016-02-14 22:12:20

Have y’all tried the Sorting Hat on Pottermore?

Well I just did and after a flurry of curious but undecipherable questions, the Hat placed me into Ravenclaw! And I’m actually content with the decision because as cool as Gryffindor is, I know my heart echoes more of what Ravenclaw stands for.

And the quiz is actually not very straight-forward, so you can’t really trick it into giving the house you desire (read:Gryffindor). I mean: Moon or Stars? goes a question. How could that possibly be linked into any of the houses’ qualities I cannot say. But I’m sure there’s some deep psycho-analysis between every answer as it was pretty accurate in my case.

And oh, there’s a similar quiz thingy to pick your wand too – I mean, your wand picking you of course! 😉 And turns out mine’s an adventurer’s wand! Yay!

Screenshot from 2016-02-14 22:21:35

P.S. If you have been living under a rock and do not know what Pottermore is, it is an exciting new online platform from JKR herself to keep the Harry Potter world alive. There are news articles with the latest happenings, and not to forget: exploring the books again in detail with brand new information from Rowling thrown in. It’s the place to be for any true blue Harry Potter fan!!

So Hermione Granger could have been black…No Big Deal!

Cursed Child cast photo 1
Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Noma Dumezwani (Hermione Granger), Paul Thornly (Ron Weasley)

 

JK Rowling is apparently thrilled that Noma Dumezwani (an award-winning theatre actress) is cast as Hermione Granger in the stage play ‘Cursed Child’, which is also – for all intents and purposes – the eighth installment to the Harry Potter series!

Did the internet go a little wild after announcement? You bet it did. But again, we’re way past the racism crap now. Right now it’s more of a consistency issue. For somebody who has grown up seeing a Caucasian Hermione Granger (and the amazing Emma Watson), it did strike me a teeny bit odd to see a woman of color reprise the character. But a little switch turned on in my head. And a couple of minutes later I was gladly embracing this new version of my beloved heroine.

The books never indeed mention Hermione’s color, but there’s an unwritten law that every character be assumed as white unless specified otherwise. Which is probably not very progressive in hindsight, but it works because it is convenient.

If I have one pet peeve with JK Rowling, it’s that much of these fringe character traits seem to be cropping up outside of the books. Dumbledore is gay, but if Rowling hasn’t revealed that info we would have been none the wiser. These things almost sound like an after-thought, something she decided to throw in to make her world more diverse. On which note, if you ask me, I could only quote Dean Thomas and Angelina Johnson as the only other black people, off the top of my head.

Anyhoo, back to the ‘Cursed Child’! I cannot contain my excitement as this is the official continuation of the Harry Potter series when Harry, Ron and Hermione are all grown up and battling middle-age. The cursed child here is apparently Harry and Ginny’s youngest son, Albus Severus!

In case you missed it, here’s the synopsis from Pottermore!

It was always difficult being 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 a 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 have no idea how people outside of the United Kingdom will get to watch this play though!

Let me know what you think of the above and if you cannot wait to know what the story is all about!!!

Image Source: Original article on Pottermore

A little achievement :D

Okay, I know that this is probably not such a big deal but the Harry Potter fan-fiction I wrote recently was selected by BlogAdda(which is India’s largest blogger social network) as one of the Tangy Tuesday picks! Yay! I was so sure that mine wouldn’t be selected that I didn’t even check till today!

Why is it a big deal? Well, just the fact that someone found my stupid fan-fiction worthy of a read to be shared to the crowd – it gives me the tingles 🙂

So, there you go! If you’re a Harry Potter fan and you haven’t read it yet, you should totally go do that right away! It’s a news article on what would happen if the acclaimed wizard and wife visited India. Just something borne out of the ruminations of my idle mind.

Here’s the link to the post -> Harry Potter and Ginny visit India

Here’s the link for BlogAdda -> Tangy Tuesday picks


And yea, TGIF!!

Harry and Ginny Potter visit India! #fanfiction

THE MAGICAL HINDU

Sunday, the 30th of August, 2015

Acclaimed wizard Harry Potter and wife Ginny Potter make the trip to India for the International Conference Of Wizards

By Rekha Rengasamy

The well-awaited Indian visit of internationally popular wizard Harry Potter and his wife Ginny Potter began yesterday amidst much fanfare. The Minster of Magic Mr. Abdul had arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to receive the couple whose British Airways’ flight touched down at 7:55 AM. The arrival had been smooth and uneventful, and there had been a bit of debate as to the muggle means of transport used versus the much safer Floo Stations.

Things were noticeably different and celebratory at Mantra Nagar, the official magical quarters of New Delhi. Little kids and teenagers who have up until now only read about the Battle of Hogwarts – that took place almost thirty years ago –  in their history books eagerly lined up the avenues to catch a glimpse of The Boy Who Lived and his wife, who was a star in her own ranks as a Quidditch player for Britain.

The visit, though, is primarily focused on the International Conference of Wizards that is to take place in Delhi from today till the 5th of September. Ginny Potter, now an acclaimed sports reporter for The Daily Prophet is supposed to give a key note tomorrow on how sports journalism has reached its saturation and needs to improve to attract more of the kids towards sports in general. She will also be talking about raising awareness in Indian youth towards more indigenous sports like Pachkees and Magic Carpet Racing.

In a press conference arranged yesterday at the Indian Ministry of Magic chambers, Mr. Abdul proudly presented the couple to the nation and noted how excited he was to have them in the country and also mentioned that he was a big fan of their son Albus Severus Potter, lead vocalist of the alt-rock band The Wandmakers.

Harry Potter on his part seemed nonplussed by all the attention. He said to an eager crowd, “Thank you for the warm welcome. It feels wonderful to be here, I’ve always wanted to visit India with my family though that never came to happen due to either mine or Ginny’s work. Really looking forward to the conference and the Taj Mahal trip we have lined up right after.”

As of now we’re not sure how many days they’re gonna be staying in the country but several reports confirm that the couple might well stay until the end of September to kick off the 21st edition of the Indian Quidditch League. There are also rumors that they might be traveling extensively in India, and would even pay a visit to Nalanda Mantralaya, the top school of witchcraft and wizardry in India today.

Catch the live telecast of the conference on our TV network, channel number 7 3/4.

Am I crazy for wanting to get a Harry Potter tattoo?

When I told my sister, she gave me a stern look and said, “Don’t do anything that you are going to regret when you get older.”

Oooh. Serious sister is serious.

But you see, like a lot of people, Harry Potter had indeed been my childhood. I grew up reading the books. I grew up with Harry, Hermione and Ron (Even though Hermione had always been my champion.) I grew up dreaming of studying at Hogwarts. A little annoyed at the fact that the school I went to did not have a house point system. And that the only hall we had was a Parish Hall.

To be honest though, I was a bit of a late bloomer. I came to know that such a world existed only when I saw the trailer of Chamber of Secrets on TV (circa 2002). It was new, it was magical and I was blown away by how imaginative it was. From then on though, there was no turning back. It would come to shape up much of what I am as a person today due to the fact that without Harry Potter, I would never have gotten into books at all. Even if I had, I would have gotten into at a very late stage.

Also if you have to know, I used to watch the movies every single time they telecasted it on TV. And how it had been an unwritten law in our house that if a Harry Potter movie was being telecast, everyone knew to hand over the remote to me and not meddle until I’m done. And oh, I also used to watch the entire end credits!!

So I don’t see how I could really regret getting a Harry Potter tattoo ever, especially when I imagine that when I grow old and have grand kids of my own, I’ll be sitting down and reading Harry Potter along with them. And then I’ll show them my tattoo, and they’ll go, “Oooh grandpa, that’s so cool!” And then my son will come and ask, “After all this time?” To which I’ll reply, “Always.

This will happen. For sure. 

So I have been hunting over the internet for the past couple of days for tattoo ideas and turns out that there are a lot of crazy people out there too. I saw wands, quotes, deathly hallows, the Hogwarts emblem, Dobby <3, and even faces of the trio. But I definitely did not want something so out-there as I’m not doing this to show off. This is just me wanting to carry a little magic around wherever I go, something to remind me of where it all started. Something very personal, and private.

And I finally landed upon this:

minimalist-harry-poter-tattoos-3

For some reason I’ve always wanted to get the Hogwarts emblem in full colour, but this is more striking, no? Simple but beautiful. What do you think? Too underwhelming? Or just perfect?

I’m also still thinking about where on my body I should get this done. So, if you have any suggestions or any other tattoo ideas, please let me know.

The Magic lives on. 

Allergic to “E” Challenge

I’ve been nominated to take up the Allergic to “E” challenge by Priceless Joy who blogs over at Beautiful Words. One basically is required to write a paragraph that doesn’t contain the alphabet “e” anywhere. At first I thought that it was impossible to do so, but going through some of the other entries it did seem plausible. I think I’ve made it within 24 hours, probably just on the line.

Anyway here are the rules:

1) Write a whole paragraph ( a paragraph sounds easy right?) without any word containing the letter “e” (still easy?)

2) By reading this you are already signed up.

3) Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge. They must do it within 24 hours or it is considered as failure.

4) If you fail or pass, suffer in the Page of Lame.

5) If you win, wallow in the Page of Fame.

And here’s my modest entry. I don’t know why I tried to do a fiction, that too a Harry Potter fan fiction! Avoiding “e” is not very easy when you consider that the staple “The” contains it. I had a lot of fun doing this but, though it’s not much.

It is dark. Harry pulls his wand out of his cloak and murmurs, “Lumos!”

A blob of light pops up at his wand’s tip, illuminating a small corridor in front of him. Walking slowly, Harry lands up at a big black door.

A horcrux lay within. Harry’s scar starts to sting.

Aaand that’s it. Told you it wasn’t much! (Also my apologies to people who haven’t read Harry Potter)

Here are my nominees!

1) Suchie, from Lil Rant

2) Vanchula, from The Quintessential Irony We Call Life

3) Karthik, from Karthi’s Blog

4) Archana, from ConfusedAndCrazilyCurious

5) Nilesh, from Nilesh Prajapathi

Please don’t kill me for nominating you 😛 It’s great fun, trust me!

Hermione Granger and the time she saved Middle-Earth

Hermione, Harry and Ron found themselves in The Shire one day with no recollection of how they got there. The sun was setting on the horizon and little dwarf-like people were strolling in the meadows, singing cheerful songs.

‘Merlin’s beard! Where the hell are we!’, groaned Ron, scratching his ginger hair.

Hermione stepped up and craned her neck to get a better view of the surroundings. It seemed to be a sleepy place, with lots of little houses wedged into the hillsides. She could hear distant laughter, and the sound of clinking utensils.

‘How fascinating!’ she remarked. ‘This looks like nothing I’ve ever read about!’

Ron rolled his eyes while Harry squinted at the curiously designed houses. Hermione noted that she should bring him here back on a vacation once they’ve killed Voldemort, the poor guy really needed the time-off.

‘So now what,’ said Harry. ‘Anybody starving?’

She realized she was and Ron nodded his head too. ‘Let’s knock on that house then’, said Ron pointing to closest door, ‘We’ll see if we can get something to eat.’

The door was unbolted and they could hear murmurs from within. Without warning, Ron pushed it all the way through, much to Hermione’s angst. They could hear someone speaking-

‘-Sauron’s ring! This has to be destroyed! Otherwise great misfortune will fall upon Middle-Earth!’

What looked like a living room had a towering man, with a pointy hat and long white hair standing over the hearth, and he was observing something very closely in his palm. There were a couple of the little dwarf-like people seated on the chair opposite to the hearth, one was visibly old and the other seemed to be in his youth.

‘WHO ARE YOU?’ bellowed the old dwarf. Hermione wondered if she should say something but Harry stepped forward and muttered, ‘We’re sorry, sir. We found ourselves lost in this place and were wondering if we could find anything to eat around-‘

The dwarf seemed to get furious. ‘So you just march in here and expect me to feed you?! I’ve had enough of people gorging from my kitchen for a lifetime!’

‘Now Bilbo! Where are your manners!‘ the old man turned around. Hermione found his resemblance to Dumbledore uncanny.

‘Please, sit down,’ he offered. ‘I’m Gandalf, this is Bilbo Baggins and that over there is Frodo. I see you’re not from middle-earth and I’m interested to know more but I’ve just discovered something and it’s very dire. We’ve got a world to save, you see. So I’ll let Frodo get you something to eat -‘

‘But -‘ interrupted Harry. ‘Did you say you had a world to save? Maybe we can help!!’

Hermione sighed. Harry’s propensity for people-saving got to her nerves sometimes. But on the other hand, this did seem to be an interesting case.

‘What exactly is the problem, Mr. Gandalf?’ she asked.

Gandalf smiled at her. ‘See this?’ he held up his hand, a gold ring nestled between his fingers. ‘This is the One Ring, and it should never fall in the hands of Sauron! So I’m planning to send Frodo here on an elaborate mission to destroy the ring by dropping it in the fires of Mount Doom.’

Frodo rounded his eyes. ‘WHAT!’

‘Yes,’ Gandalf continued. ‘This has to be done. It won’t be easy, it is very far, and the way to the Mount is strewn with rough landscapes and dangerous enemies, everyone on the lookout to catch the ringbearer. It is going to tough, extremely tough!’

Ron lifted his hand stupidly, ‘We can go in my dad’s flying Ford Anglia!’

Gandalf looked puzzled. ‘Oh it’s a car, a flying car! I  think it will be much faster and the ground-folks can’t jolly well meddle with us!’ Ron explained.

‘I have a better solution!’ beamed Harry. He took out his wand and yelled, ‘Accio Firebolt!’

Bilbo shuddered. ‘What was that for!!

Hermione was exasperated. Were they really thinking of flying all the way to Mount Doom?

‘Give that ring to me, Mr. Gandalf. I know what to do,’ she said smugly.

Gandalf looked taken aback by the offer, and said, ‘It’s not advisable to fly to Mount Doom, there are far more adversaries on the lookout in the sky…and the ring, it affects you! It meddles with your mind.’

She smirked. ‘No I’m not going to fly, I was thinking of apparating. Shouldn’t take more than a minute, trust me.’

Gandalf gave away the ring hesitently. Hermione pictured Mount Doom in her mind and turned on the spot. A lot of body scrunching followed. She never really liked the process of apparation, though of course she loved how convenient it was. When the world started to build again around her, she saw that everything was burning a bright orange color, and it was smoking hot.

She walked up to the edge  of the crater, there was molten lava burning inside. She retrieved the ring from her purse and dropped it slowly into the depths. Plop. 

Well, that had been easy. She disapparated back to the Shire.

The living room only contained Bilbo, who was smoking on his pipe leisurely. The whoosh from her disapparation must have startled him, as he looked up at her and said, ‘Oh you, did you do it then?’

‘Yes,’ she answered smiling. ‘So I guess the problem’s solved. Where are Gandalf and my friends, anyway?’

Bilbo sighed. ‘A flying broomstick came jetting into my kitchen, broke my stained glass window…Firebolt, is it?’ He let out a big smoke ring, and continued. ‘Anyway, Gandalf found it amusing so he’s gone out to take a ride. Your friends tagged along.’

‘Hmmm.’ She settled down on the chair opposite and asked hesitantly, ‘So, Mr.Bilbo, ummm…are you people dwarves?’

The End.


Hi folks, this is my first attempt at fanfic and this thought just occurred to me. Maybe we can call it…cross-fiction? 😛 Anyway, I know the above story probably was very stupid but it was all in good humor. Let me know if it can be improved in any way or if there is any mash-up that you’d like to read. Thanks!