Science Fiction Friday: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them – Film Review

Last night we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The theater was filled with people in Harry Potter garb (scarves, robes, backpacks, sweaters) so we knew we were in good company 🙂

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From the minute the film started I was instantly brought back into the wizarding world, mostly thanks to Hedwig’s Theme, and the entire film turned out to be better than I’d ever expected (spoilers ahead):

I loved the plot so much. A disturbance in New York that’s causing mayhem and alerting the no-maj’s that something is amiss, wizards fearing that they’ll be found out…enter Newt Scamander who’s illegally brought a case full of magical creatures into the country and you have the perfect scapegoat to blame it all on. Only the problem turns out to be much scarier than all of the magical beasts tucked away in his suitcase combined.

Highlights:

  • Kowalski. What an endearing character; likeable, unassuming, and the perfect no-maj to join along on the adventure with Newt and the Goldstein sisters
  • “…the wilds of Arizona.” This line elicited hoots and hollers from the audience in our theater and I, too, couldn’t help but laugh. It’s always funny to me to see Arizona portrayed as, well, the wild west. The way Newt says this line all dreamily was just too funny
  • The 1920s costumes were pure eye candy – the hats! the coats! the flapper dresses!
  • Tina and Queenie Goldstein. Name a more iconic sister duo, I’ll wait. Just kidding. But really! They were such a perfect smart and witty team and their willingness to help Newt for the greater good was inspiring
  • Soundtrack. Although Hedwig’s Theme was used in the beginning, this film soundtrack was entirely unique and enjoyable
  • Newt is an animal lover! His dedication to caring for his magical creatures was so endearing and you could really tell how much he loved them and wanted to protect them
  • The Grindewald surprise appearance. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming. I had no idea where or when he would show up, but when he finally did, I realized that there would be no better way for him to make a surprise appearance than the way in which he did (vagueness on purpose, even though there are spoilers in this post, if you haven’t seen it yet I’d still think this part is best kept a surprise!)

As for the plot itself, I thought that the concept of the obscurist was quite intriguing; the idea that a child who is forced to suppress their true (magical) self could be capable of such strong, evil forces beyond their control was equally scary and sad. The havoc that Credence wrecks on the city is deadly, but it’s not even close to the havoc going on inside of him. The whole story of his adopted mother verbally/mentally/physically abusing him was tugging at my heartstrings throughout the entire movie. It made sense, then, that that was why Newt wanted to save him from the obscura, of which he knew how dangerous it was, and whereas Grindewald wanted to exploit it for his own benefit. It was just too strong and too dangerous, ultimately bringing about his demise.

This film really set the tone for the next Fantastic Beasts films to follow. Next up I’ll be reading the screenplay soon, and contemplating when/if I should go see it in theaters again before the holidays 🙂

*image via google

 

 

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