It’s been over 48 hours since I went to the movie premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and I’m STILL thrilled and excited about it – this movie hasn’t left my mind ever since two nights ago. Partly because I hadn’t written down my thoughts on the movie yet, and I was afraid that I would forget important aspects of the movie before I had. So here I am, trying to recall all 134 minutes of amazingness, and writing down all that's been bustling inside me ever since I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
It was literally amazing.
Let’s start with my first reaction to the movie that is still echoing inside me today: THIS IS LITERALLY AMAZING!!! I was so hyper-excited prior to the onset of the movie, and I didn’t get disappointed afterwards. I'm not just saying this because I'm a huge Potterhead - though I might be slightly biased, I'm not into everything that's Harry Potter-related - for example, I don't want to know anything about the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child play script, as many aspects of this non-J.K. Rowling-material are inconsistent with the actual Harry Potter canon - and I was actually kind of scared that Fantastic Beasts would be just as disappointed as The Cursed Child script (I am not judging the actual play), but it wasn't, and I can confirm that this movie will delight every Harry Potter fan and every movie fanatic, and probably a lot of other people too - like, even Mitchell liked the movie, and he's usually not into that kind of stuff at all. I'm not saying Fantastic Beasts is flawless, but it is amazing indeed.
I loved the story line.
I wasn’t sure what the movie exactly would be about. I’ve read the Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them schoolbook long ago, though that is only an encyclopedia based on the textbook Harry and his classmates used for their Care for Magical Creatures class at Hogwarts – it’s not a story. Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them, the movie, is about Newt Scamander, writer of the textbook mentioned in the previous sentence. But we know nothing about this man from the Harry Potter series, so it was hard to tell what we could expect. From the movie trailer we know he’s a British man who arrives in New York for the first time, along with his magical suitcase in which he carries magical creatures, and some happen to escape, so naturally I expected that the movie would be about Newt getting in trouble for setting loose his magical creatures and him having to get them back – and to a point, this was the case, but surprisingly, not the most important event in the movie. What I try to say is: this movie is more than a man hunting for his magical beasts. I’m not going to spoil it for you – but what I can say about the story line, is that you will LOVE it, even if you are strangely enough not so much into Harry Potter.
It was a lot different from the Harry Potter series.
I do believe that the story is entertaining for everyone, more than the Harry Potter story – perhaps because the Fantastic Beasts story is more for adults, while the first Harry Potter was more for kids, and the later Harry Potter movies were hard to understand without having seen the previous ones. But nevertheless Harry Potter fans will be very pleased with this movie, as there were a lot of aspects that we already know from the Harry Potter series (I had a hard time to restrain myself from explaining every little spell or creature to my non-Potterhead movie date Mitchell) AND we got to know much more about the wizarding world that Harry Potter is a part of as well (though like 200 years later), specifically in America, and as it appears, the wizarding communities of two different countries do differ as much as different muggle cultures – or rather, different no-maj cultures.
In Fantastic Beasts I sometimes missed the details – but maybe that is only because I’m used to Harry Potter and I’ve read all those books, so of course I know more details for those movies, but even so I felt that we didn’t get to know some characters very well even though they were important for the movie (Credance, in particular). Sure, it’s a movie, so they can’t fit in all the details that JKR probably would have wanted in it, but the movie really got me curious for some background details that we never learned.
The movie itself was very different from the Harry Potter movies as well.
When it comes to the movies itself, Fantastic Beasts is a lot different from the Harry Potter ones as well. At first it’s a lot more modern, especially compared to the first Harry Potter movies (especially the Sorcerer’s Stone, which was released 15 years earlier!) so I was very impressed by the spectacular special effects, and I think these largely contributed to the amazingness of the movie. I saw the movie in an IMAX theatre so the movie screen was gigantic, and perhaps this was also part of why my Fantastic Beasts experience was so great.
For some beasts though, I thought they still looked less realistic and very computer-animated, but perhaps that is partly because of the 3D effects. I loved the 3D in this movie though, sometimes it was as if things in the movie were actually touching you – and it was not overdone at all!
Predictable but surprising
I feel that sometimes I could easily predict what would happen next in the movie, though there were at least two major surprises in the movie that made up for the other predictions – not that I care much for being able to predict what will happen next in a movie, as I usually enjoy a movie just as much, if not even more, when I already know exactly what will happen throughout the entire movie. I got excited to go see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them for a second time as soon as I walked out of the movie theatre – so I will go for a second time soon, this time with my parents, who raised two Harry Potter obsessed daughters so of course they could no else than become interested in it (but not as much that they would want to go to a midnight premiere of a Harry Potter spin-off, so then Mitchell was the (un)fortunate to go with me).
Eddie Redmayne is super cute.
I’m glad they casted Eddie Redmayne to play Newt Scamander – he’s perfect for the role! At first I had my doubts about the casting, but that was before I learned that Newt Scamander is a pretty adorable character himself! I love Eddie Redmayne ever since Les Misérables, but I’m even more into him now I’ve seen him in Fantastic Beasts. He makes all these cute faces and has all these cute lines, so even if you are this unique person that feels nothing for this movie, you still want to go just to see Eddie Redmayne’s moving image.
I’m excited for the next four movies!
When I first heard Fantastic Beasts would have four sequels, I felt slightly uncomfortable because I thought that maybe the Harry Potter industry just wanted to make much more money by making so many Fantastic Beasts movies, because obviously they know that we will go see it anyways, and I was afraid that – as is often the case for sequels – the next four movies would become worse each time, and the whole thing would become milked, but now I think this cannot be the case for something that is created by J.K. Rowling – I mean if she could do 8 movies for Harry Potter, she can do 5 for Fantastic Beasts – and now I’ve heard what the next four movies will probably be about (the era from Newt Scamander’s arrival in NYC to the rise of Lord Voldemort, including a lot about Grindelwald and Dumbledore) and now I’ve seen the first part of Fantastic Beasts, I can no else but be excited about the other parts to come. Critics are afraid that the following movies won’t be as great as the first one, but I don’t believe this could ever be the case for a story line invented by mastermind Rowling.
Overall, I had an awesome night! I arrived wearing my Harry Potter scarf to the theatre, and (although this was quite expectable) soon I noticed all other Harry Potter fans wearing their Harry Potter scarves – and instead of feeling awkward about this, I was excited and felt very much part of something large and important, while at the same time I felt miserable as I was wearing a Gryffindor scarf (it’s the only one I own) even though I’m a Ravenclaw, so now people would think I’m a Gryffindor even though I’m not. Then, when in the movie theatre (we were having extraordinary good seats in the very middle of the second row, a love seat though, even though it was so freaking wide, nothing cozy about that) the movie trailers were over, the very well-known Harry Potter tune could be heard, and my heart skipped a beat – it was the most amazing thing!
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