“I cannot possibly convey how excited I am to return to the Wizarding World. Yes these universe expansions can be hit or miss (case in point, Star Wars 1-3 vs 7), but the fact that this was written by JK Rowling, who has kept her twitter aflutter over the years with more and more details about this world she’s created gave me hope. Afterall, this universe is so full and rich, that there have to be infinitely more stories to explore, with or without the boy who lived.
With Beasts, we travel back in time and across the ocean to meet Newt Scamander, the man who would write the book that shares its title with the film, which will one day be a respected textbook at Hogwarts. He arrives in 1926 New York with a TARDIS-sque case full of magical creatures. At this point in time, tension is high between wizards and non-wizards (known stateside as No-Maj’s, as opposed to Muggles across the pond). When some of his creatures get loose, Newt has to covertly recover them, while staying under the radar of both the No-Maj’s and his fellow wizards. But it turns out, there might be a bigger bad than anything found in his case.
As someone who devours all of this wizard stuff like a tall cold glass of Butterbeer, I loved being back here and getting a whole new history and lore. There were some slight references to things you know, and things you’d know if you were really hardcore and paying very close attention, but most of it was shiny and new. That was the real fun of the film. And true to form, there were heavier themes going on than just spell casting and chasing animals. I don’t wanna spoil things, but the revelation as to what the big bad was was completely brilliant in a very Rowling way. Unique and poignant, with so many allegorical applications.
The cast, of course, perfect, including a brief cameo that gets me really excited for the series to continue. But yeah, no need to go gushing about how great they all were. Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, etc etc.
All that said, I did feel a twinge underwhelmed. I realize that most of that is just the inevitable overhype letdown, but I think it’s even more because this is just a beginning. We’re trying to establish a lot of new stuff in a familiar location, and there’s not a lot of room to dive too deep. Also, being a film without a book feels a bit thin since it doesn’t have as rich source material. Still, high hopes for going forward. HP is gonna be hard to top, and I don’t think this ever really will, but it’ll still be a magical journey
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”