Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them | Movie Review from a Die-Hard Potterhead

Spoilers for the film exist, so click the read more at your own discretion!

I actually went to see this on its release day, the 18th, but was too lazy to get around to writing up how I felt about it until now. :’D

Now, I love the Harry Potter films. Even though they have a tendency not to adhere strictly to their respective books (because, what movie does?), the cinematography always more than makes up for the mistakes that are made or the details that are left out. This time, I had not read the book before going to see the movie, because the book isn’t actually the movie. The book is the product of the main character, Newt Scamander, and it’s not his journey. They even show the book (or, what I assume will be the contents of the book) in the movie, which I thought was a cool touch.

 

Along with the cinematography, what made the Harry Potter films so great was the fact you were basically watching people you considered to be your family grow. (Or, that’s how it was for me, among many others out there.) Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna & co., they were my friends, my family, my role models. You knew them from the books, assuming you read before you watched. You don’t get that option when you go into this movie.

But … that ended up not mattering to me. Newt, Jacob, Queenie, even Tina (though, someone in the theater shouted “BITCH!” at her at a certain point–ngl, it was hilarious, and fitting) I found myself loving as I watched them go on through their journey. I can easily imagine them becoming my new family to go on this adventure with (5 movies worth!) and grow with, and, yet again, they’re close to my age. Just like Harry and everyone were when they were going on their adventures.

It might not be Harry Potter, but that ended up not mattering to me. I loved Newt from the moment he awkwardly slapped his briefcase down on the table for inspection, and I can’t wait to continue on with him.

And, even if I weren’t, this film was beautiful. My absolute favorite part was when Newt and Jacob went down in the briefcase and experienced the world inside it. I could go on and on about how amazing those images were, and how badly I wish I could experience the same in person.

(Still waiting on that letter, even though I’m American. Hate to disagree with Queenie, but I’m still Hogwarts all the way.)

A particularly interesting thing I found while experiencing the film was the twists they had on American wizarding culture. As this is set in the late 1920s, Americans were still dealing with segregation, but that doesn’t seem to exist in the same sense for American wizards, as the MACUSA president is a black woman. However, there are severe segregation laws between wizards and no-majes. Absolutely no no-maj can know about the wizarding world in America, so does that mean they don’t have any half-bloods of the half-no-maj variety? And what about muggleborns (do they even have a name)? I can’t imagine they don’t. Maybe witches or wizards just never tell their no-maj (god, I prefer muggle so much) what they are, or they keep it a secret? Marriage isn’t allowed, though… hm. I want more on this background.

I hope for more information as the films come out, at least.

I can’t wait for the next one!

(Who thinks Credence is totally still alive after the way Newt acted at that lil’ wisp? I do!)


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