Date watched: Friday 18th November 2016
Year released: 2016
First time watching? Yes
From IMDb: “The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.”
Oh my goodness. Where to even begin? I am a huuuuuge “Harry Potter” fan; I got engaged in the Great Hall at the Harry Potter Studio Tours, I cried in Florida when we visited Hogsmeade, I even had a full cast of Barbie dolls to play roles so I could make up my own stories too. I cried so so hard when I finished book seven – partly because ALL of my favourite characters were killed off – but primarily because there was no more. Hogwarts and the magical world were gone and finished.
Enter 2015 and the announcement of more movies and a play. Cue excitement.
All that said and out of the way, I LOVED “Fantastic Beasts”. If there’s a word stronger than LOVE in big capitals use that one. The expansion of the wizarding world was just so wonderful, in a different country and a different era, yet keeping the essence of “Harry Potter”. I loved that the magical feeling we got so used to with “Harry Potter” was still there, without us having to learn too much new information as is so often with universe expansions.
The cast was simply wonderful. Eddie Redmayne looked like he was having an absolute blast making this movie, and he really shines in his role as the slightly socially awkward yet completely charming Newt Scamander; Colin Farrell as Percival Graves acted the heck out of his role (a special mention for the subtle hints of homosexuality he played which was wonderful and tastefully done. It was obvious to me who he really was in relation to the story, so to see that portrayed on screen was a lovely little acknowledgement tot he fact); Katherine Waterstone as our insecure Ministry Official and Dan Fogler as Kowalski as the No-Maj who gets swept up in all the mayhem. I’d have loved to have seen more of Ezra Miller, but I have a feeling that’s because he’s a phenomenal actor who steals every moment of every scene he ever appears in so that’s just a slight bias on my part.
At two hours thirteen minutes it is by no means a short movie, but it felt like only one hour. I was having so much fun back in the wizarding world that the time just flew by – for her first screenplay J. K. Rowling has done an absolutely fantastic job. I have no doubts she will keep up her (always) amazing work for the next movies in the series.
It was also rather special hearing the iconic “Harry Potter” theme underlying the score, which then slipped back into it’s own theme music for the movie, giving us a little reminder that this is the same universe as our favourite boy wizard.
Harry has competition now though, as Newt Scamander is definitely going to win most people over.
My rating: 9/10