Fantastic Beasts has been out less than a week but I’ve already seen it twice!
Anyone that’s had more than a one-minute-long conversation with me will know I am a teensy weensy bit obsessed with all things Harry Potter. This completely rational love for J.K Rowling’s work has however, posed a problem when it came to the film versions of the books. I cannot sit through a Harry Potter film without numerous frustrated sighs, countless angry protestations and eventually storming out of the room. That said, I felt like a little kid at Christmas when I heard Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was being made into a film. I have read the Harry Potter Series over 20 times, I have read Fantastic Beasts once. This leaves little room for expectations and very few potential complaints. I was overjoyed to finally have a Harry Potter film I could watch without pulling my hair out.
I’m not a film critic so I won’t attempt to give any kind of sophisticated review; these are just my thoughts on what might be my new favourite film.
The plot is at first glance simple: Newt Scamander loses some magical creatures in 1920’s New York. There are of course, other storylines, all of which are equally interesting. I especially enjoyed how the lighter, funnier side was contrasted with the more sinister, serious side. I loved the little twists and turns the story took and it was fascinating to see a magical America (though of course GB takes the biscuit). There’s something for everyone in the plot: humour, love, action, mystery and of course magic! Definitely a film for all the family.
Every single character in this film is a triumph. From the hilarious No-Maj (Muggle) Jacob Kowalski to the incredibly cute Pickett the bowtruckle (a magical stick insect basically) I loved them all. Eddie Redmayne was of course brilliant as Newt but it wasn’t a one man show and I felt we got to know a variety of new characters and it was nice we hadn’t lost Rowling’s immense skill at crafting brilliant, realistic characters. The abundance of new (though not perhaps to the most devout Potterheads) magical creatures is further testament to J.K’s astonishing imagination and they are brought to life with spectacular special effects.
Even if this film isn’t for you, you cannot fault the skill that went into making this film. The special effects are mind blowing and beautifully believable. I watched the film in 2-D (I’m a poor student) but I can only imagine how amazing this film would be in 3-D. Maybe I’ll go and see it again and fork out the extra couple of quid for the full experience… Watching this film, I was temporarily transported into a world where magic was possible and this is entirely due to the stunning visual effects.
Perhaps my favourite thing about this film was the amount of little echoes of the Harry Potter books. References to Dumbledore and Hogwarts are of course easy things for everyone to pick up on but for my nerdy self, spotting other parts was incredibly satisfying. Almost every creature introduced had featured in the original books and spotting these made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Murtlaps, Erumpents, Demiguises and Nifflers all hold a special place in my HP knowledge and it was lovely to see them on screen. Also Deathly Hallows/ Gellert Grindewald’s sign makes an appearance!
Watch it. End of.
We discover Newt Scamader was kicked out of Hogwarts yet is still able to perform magic and own a wand. Hagrid was expelled and had his wand destroyed and wasn’t supposed to do any magic (*cough* pink umbrella). What’s up with that???