Being the extreme Potterhead that I am, I had a lot of expectations about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I was fairly nervous. I know that you shouldn’t go in with a ton of expectations when going to see something for the first time, but I couldn’t help it. I thought I was genuinely going to dislike this movie. I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised.
This movie takes place in the 1920s, a good 70 years before the Harry Potter universe as we know it, which takes place in the 1990s when Harry first attends Hogwarts. The new movie is loosely based on that universe’s encyclopedia of its same title, whose author is Newt Scamander. The movie follows Newt, a wizard from Britain who is looking for a rare creature in New York City. He is working on the manuscript for the encyclopedia, and runs into some trouble when some of his creatures escape his case.
I expected there to be a lot of ties to the series we all know, but I only caught a handful, which I genuinely appreciated. It was nice to feel like I was seeing some of the wizarding world that I didn’t know about. While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child felt like a stretch, bringing back characters that already had their ending and the introduction of new characters was refreshing. Not to mention how cool it was to get a look into the workings of the wizarding world in America.
It is also impossible not to connect with the main character, Newt, who is played by Eddie Redmayne. He is a quirky, caring and positive person. Newt is a Hufflepuff (though he never did finish his time at Hogwarts), which shows through his dedication to, loyalty to and patience with all his creatures, and with all those who don’t understand where he is coming from.
I found this movie to also be an unexpected emotional roller coaster. From laughing to nearly being brought to tears, the story definitely did not take the route I would have expected after watching the beginning. I was taken aback by some of the plot twists, and was glad that it included aspects that pleased lovers of comedy, romance and tragedy.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this movie. I liked it so much that I have already been to see it twice. Sure, there were a few things that ticked me off slightly, but the movie was so enjoyable as a whole that I was able to look past them. This movie demonstrated that J.K Rowling (who wrote the screenplay herself), can do much more than just write novels, and that she can do it well. For all those skeptics out there, I seriously do recommend this movie.
Contact CU Independent Arts Contributor Anna Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.