Hey, there! Welcome to my first ever Movie Monday blog! What better way to start it off than with a movie I have been waiting AGES to see? It has finally arrived, the beauty you can see above, and boy, have I got things to say about it. I’ll start off with a spoiler-free section (for all you naughty devils who haven’t seen it yet) and then I’ll go into the juicy deets about what I liked, or didn’t like, further below. Don’t worry, I’ll clearly indicate when you should cover your eyes and flee. Let’s discuss this:
I’d like to start off by saying that if you’re in any way a Harry Potter fan, be it die-hard like me, or simply someone who appreciates the movies or books, then I think it’s safe to say that you will enjoy this movie. Purely for the fact that it takes us back into that beautiful, magical world of the Harry Potter universe that we miss seeing ever since the final Deathly Hallows movie came out.
Fantastic Beasts is very different from the original movies, in both feeling and appearance. This, of course, is due to the fact that we’re thrown into 1920s New York, and not the usual Hogwarts setting we’re all used to. But in my opinion, this is a fantastic change of setting. We get to dive into the larger wizarding world, exploring how Muggles (No-Majs) and Wizards and Witches interact in a very different time period, in a very different country. The aesthetic is so pleasing, as are the very exciting new characters we meet.
Newt Scamander arrives in New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures, and we get to follow his mad adventures when a No-Maj, Jacob, accidentally gets involved. The characters he meets along the way, such as Tina and Queenie, Mr Graves, and even the New Salem anti-witch group, are all important to the story and are fantastically cast. Newt is a lead we can easily fall in love with; I’m excited to possibly see more of him. Credence is an amazing, and very important, character who is brilliantly acted by Ezra Miller. Easily my favourite.
The movie is full of touching, hilarious and magical moments. If you’re in need of a Harry Potter sugar rush, then this movie is for you. As well as that, if you’re at all like me, then the idea of exploring a time when Gellert Grindelwald was running rampant through the magical world should excite you immensely. Potential for a young Dumbledore appearance somewhere in future? I hope so!
There are a number or heart-stopping events, battles and plot twists that will keep you at the edge of your seat. There is a perfect blend of humour and seriousness, as well as a number of critical plot points that can be linked to events in the future. If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Would I recommend this movie to someone who has absolutely never read or watched anything to do with Harry Potter? Probably not. I wouldn’t discourage you from watching it, because the movie itself is really great fun. But you may be extremely lost about the significance of some details. It’s like if you haven’t seen a single Star Wars movie and then see The Force Awakens (the seventh film). You could enjoy the movie, but there are important connections to all the other movies that will be lost on you. That said, if you have no idea about anything to do with Harry Potter, but want to watch a movie about great characters and magic, go for it!
This movie might not suit everyone, though. If you want a movie that is pretty close to the other eight, and has most of the original ideas, then this might not suit you. New plot points are introduced. This is a prequel in the purest sense, with plenty of nods to future events (if you catch them all!). My only complaint is that a few moments were rushed and some details were hard to understand. But that may just be a fault on my part; I’m seriously longing to watch it again (both for in-depth analysis and due to a reinstated obsession with the HP universe).
So, if you’re on the fence about seeing this, I would recommend that you watch it anyway. Oh, definitely. If you love everything Harry Potter, and are open-minded about diverging from the setting we’re used to, or don’t mind prequels, you’ll like this. If you simply want to watch this movie because you see all the positive reviews it’s getting, or are simply a movie-goer who is curious, I’d also recommend you see it. I know a few people who did not like this film, and that is because they either were expecting something else or they do not like Harry Potter enough to be see the potential in this film (and its future sequels).
As for my rating? I give it 8/10 stars. It has definitely re-ignited my passion for Harry Potter, and I look forward to the sequels!
Now, lovely reader, that is the end of the spoiler-free review. I can’t hold it in any longer, so if you haven’t yet seen the film, go and watch it, my little teacup. The spoiler-filled section will begin after this next gif, so keep reading if you want to hear me gush about the film!
Still here? Good. You’ve seen the film? Loved it or hated it? I fall on the former side. First, a bit of context:
I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. And I mean huge. Well, not enough to dress up and go to midnight movie releases, because I’m lazy AF. But I am one of those people who read Harry Potter as a child, got the entire book box set for Christmas, re-read each book multiple times, watched every movie at least twice, and even waited to get my letter from Hogwarts (yes, I was a lame-ass kid). So you see, HP has had a significant impact on my childhood. I was naturally heartbroken when the final film was released. I haven’t read the Cursed Child yet, because reviews haven’t been great, but I will get around to it. And then, this trailer comes out, and I’m like:
The hype was REAL. I got so excited! I didn’t see it until the week after it came out, because I hate premieres and I was busy seeing another movie. But I finally saw it on Saturday, and my heart exploded. Here’s why:
The whole feel of the film, despite being different from the originals, is amazing. We have magic again! Oh, how I missed it. And I loved the new characters we meet! Newt is such an adorable character, accomplished and powerful but really caring and sweet. I was a little confused at the start, when he’s arrested by Tina, because her introduction wasn’t done that well. I really have to watch the film again.
The very start was so cool! OMFG GRINDELWALD! I am so excited that this period nods at Dumbledore’s and Grindelwald’s pasts, because there just isn’t enough offered on this topic in the original books. I’m seriously hoping that in one of the sequels, we’ll get to see that legendary duel between the two; the end certainly sets up for more Grindelwald shenanigans. Did I really just use that word? Ew.
Anyway, can we just discuss the characters? Jacob is such a sweet character, I actually love the part he plays in the whole thing. Tina’s character confused me a bit. I was lost because I didn’t get her motives (I’m slow) but I did like her change in character as she and Newt started working together. Queenie is adorable, and she reminds me an awful lot of Luna, which is lovely. I really hope we see more of her, because she’s one of my favourites. Mr Graves (played by Colin Farrell)…What can I say? I loved that character, but at times I was also confused about his motives. This all becomes clear after the reveal of course, but I spent a good portion of the movie wondering what the hell he was up to. Especially what his relationship with Credence is. Speaking of Credence…
I cannot tell you how much I love Credence. I literally teared up every time he appeared onscreen. The acting was superb, and his character is just so sad. The setting up of the Salem movement and the role they play in the Obscurial running rampant in the city is so well done. I heard that this has important links to Ariana Dumbledore, and I CAN SEE IT! Christ, the feels.
Can we talk about the big reveal at the end? Mother F-ing Grindelwald! It stared making sense to me then, but I need more! Give me Dumbledore in the next few films! All the battles between Graves and the other characters slayed me. I was in need of magic battles like crazy. Every bit of action onscreen had my heart beating like crazy. And the end was so beautiful, I totally want more of Queenie and Jacob. And hello, you can’t just introduce Leta Lestrange and leave it there, I need more info!
And finally, I’d just like to gush about the beasts. It was lovely exploring this side of the HP universe, because we only got passing glimpses of some of the wonderful creatures that exist in the books. I like how J.K. Rowling adapted this story to explain a lot about what happened years before we’re introduced to Harry and the gang, while also showing us a bunch of adorable and amazing beasts. You go J.K!
A good few things escaped my notice, however. I missed a lot of things, mostly because they were rushed through, and also I couldn’t quite catch what Eddie Redmayne was saying at times. Maybe I’m deaf. But I also didn’t catch Tina’s motives until really late in the film, because that memory sequence she saw while she was being executed? For some strange reason I thought she was seeing the future, because I didn’t realise she had connections to Credence. I am honestly a very slow person. My bad.
After watching the movie, I’ve become obsessed with HP again. Instead of studying, I spent an hour going through Harry Potter wiki and reading abut all the characters. There is just so much scope! I need to do a whole blog about this, but for now I’ll say that there is a lot that can be explored in terms of Dumbledore’s past, as well as many other characters.
So, what are your thoughts? To my die-hard brethren, were you enthralled? Disappointed? Confused? Let me know below! Thanks for reading 🙂