I knew that I was going to at the very least enjoy Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, and I walked out feeling satisfied but not overwhelmed. My exact word was “cute.” But the more I think about the movie, the more I think it’s one of the most beautiful entries in The Wizarding World.
It’s not because of the plot, which like most of Rowling’s work amounts to “a group of misfits chase after a Maguffin that is linked to a Dark Wizard” but in it’s small details which gives us glimpses of this world we all thought we knew so well.
The movie takes place in New York in 1926, where New Scamander has arrived, hoping, as it turns out to get out west and set a poached Thunderbird free. He quickly becomes entangled with Tina Goldstein, a former Auror, now working a desk job after she confronted a group of anti magic cultists. This entanglement also brings him into contact with curious and big hearted No-maj (American for Muggle) Jacob Kowalski and Tina’s sister Queenie.
They chase after some of Newt’s escaped creatures, and get lured into a larger mystery involving the sinister seeming Auror Graves and the same magic hating cult, which deals with an phenomenon of child witches and wizards surpressing their magic and being consumed and unable to control themselves. This of course calls to mind, at least for me, the fate of poor Arianna Dumbledore.
Revealing more than that would spoil the twists which makes the movie’s plot anything special, so I won’t do that. As I said, what really impressed me were the myriad of small details. Albus Dumbledore gets a name drop, and we learn that at Hogwarts, Newt was involved with one of the Lestrange girls. We learn that even the Wizarding community was brought into the chaos of World War I (Newt worked with Dragons on the front.) A few of the differences between American and British wizarding culture are interesting, the one that stands out to me most of all was the use of House Elves. Obviously, we know their British deal, but in America, they appear to take on the tasks that in the No-Maj community would be done by people of color in the period (A jazz singer, shoe shiner, elevator operator.) Just really interesting.
Anyway, Fantastic Beasts is a worthwhile addition to the Wizarding World canon, and I’m sure that I’ll analyze it plenty more as I watch it a few more times. But for an intial watch, I greatly enjoyed it and the cast, Eddie Redmayne especially are all wonderful. I’m rarely let down watching Halle Berry and Colin Farell though, so that’s not hard.
- The Nice Guys
- Don’t Think Twice
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
- Queen of Katwe
- Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
- Pete’s Dragon
- Captain America: Civil War
- Kubo And The Two Strings
- Star Trek Beyond
- The Magnificent 7
- Doctor Strange
- X-Men: Apocalypse
- The Legend Of Tarzan
- Suicide Squad
- Finding Dory
- Independence Day: Resurgence
- Alice Through The Looking Glass
Still no Wonder Woman? Like, what the hell dude? There was good stuff though.
Beauty And The Beast looks so exceptionally beautiful, and I was of course, crying through the whole thing.
Sing – Some new stuff in this trailer, I’m still intrigued by this movie, like not enough to run off and see it, but enough to watch it someday.
The Lego Batman Movie – I’m so in!! I can’t wait for it.