★★★½ Added 12 Oct, 2019
I’ve seen a trailer for this when it came out. So I knew it was a prequel to Harry Potter movies. That’s it.
The world felt familiar and wizardry community connected to the one from previous movies. The action was good and I liked the characters. I hope they get more developed in the sequel as I can see the potential. Especially the secondary romantic couple (mind reader and a muggle), which was more interesting than the main two characters. I have no problem with Newt and Credence being introverts and obviously on the autistic spectrum, but the portrayal of both (especially Newt) made it hard to connect with. It feels like J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut eliminated a lot of internal monologues and focused on the action through which we are supposed to understand these characters and their motivations. Yes, actions speak louder than words, but on this level, the screenplay fails. It also fails to deliver a memorable story that shows of the wizardry world in all its glory. We barely get to see anything outside of the narrow view of the main characters that we follow too closely. That is emphasized by camera angles that are often pointed either down or up towards the characters. When we are on their level, the background is usually confined. VFX and the creatures are good, but nothing special or inspiring.
Overall I liked the introduction to American wizardry society through familiar visiting British wizard set at the beginning of the 20th century when the fear of being exposed to the muggles was on a different level. The story could be less restricted, which was a letdown because I expected a bit more relevance to previous movies and a more epic approach.