★★★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.
2 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)”
The sequel sucks, this movie was better because in the sequel you’re in for a huge disappointment. I love Harry Potter, I grew up with him, he is my best friend. J.K Rowling did a huge disservice to us all by bringing out these cheap storylines to make some bucks.
I was so disappointed by these movies because they had a chance to expand the universe outside of what we know from Harry Potter, and they made a big fat mess. I felt like they should have left Harry Potter out of it, why bring out Dumbledore or any other beloved character? We don’t care, we already had closure. The man is dead, let him in rot in peace for god’s sake.
They had a chance to introduce new characters and expand on obscure ones like Newt or you know just tell us about other magical people somewhere else. Create an entire new, fleshed out universe, alongside what we all already know about Harry Potter. Harry Potter could’ve been just one story in this huge universe, with its own character, but they went in and mixed things up, ugh. Just pissed me off!
Other than that I felt the special effects, the costumes, the sets were amazing. I felt like I was back in that magical world that made me feel so happy. But I was so disappointed by the need to toy with fans and bring out beloved characters and try to make them more modern or relevant.
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Interesting comment, which does show very well how worldbuilding is not easy and not just anyone, even a renowned writer like JKR, can do it. You know how I feel about Star Wars and also JRR Tolkien, as they are two examples of the very best creators of a fantasy world that is deep and rich and has its own history and mythology. JKR did a good job with Harry Potter, but here she obviously overextended herself. I was hoping this movie was just a setup, but from what you are saying that is it. I’ll have to see it for myself as the franchise is too big to not experience it myself. 😉