Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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I went to see Fantastic Beasts last Friday, and I absolutely loved it, so of course I had to make a review of it. My friend told me she spend half of the movie looking at me because my reactions (fangirling, swooning, getting excited… you know the feeling) where so entertaining. So you can say I absolutely enjoyed it. I honestly have nothing to complain about here. You know how they say, some stories stay with us forever… Well this one will most certainly stay with me forever! I really want to watch it again, but I will probably have to wait a bit. And I can’t wait for next November, obviously, because you know, the next movie is coming out!

First let’s talk about Newt. We all know him because he is the author of the Fantastic Beasts book, which was mentioned in Harry Potter, and then released as part as the Hogwarts Library. I read this book last summer (right before I started my blog, actually), and enjoyed it a lot. But this movie is not a book to movie adaptation, it is more of a movie about how this book came to be, and I really love the concept. Newt Scamander is a unique human being, who enjoys the company of magical beasts, though he is not so good in the company of humans. (I have seen some people mentioning that he reminded them of Hagrid, and that is an interesting observation. I have to say that I agree to some extent). So Newt, former Hufflepuff, thrown out of Hogwarts because he was taking care of a dangerous beast who harmed one of his classmates (see the resemblance with Hagrid here) arrives in New York with a magical case full of beasts, but we don’t really know what his plan is at first.

First thoughts:

* Finally a story about a Hufflepuff, my pride and joy!
* Thrown out of Hogwarts? That’s interesting. I had no idea. I want to know more… And see how far you can go without school!
* We’re up for some magic, I can’t wait!

We soon see that the protection of the case is not actually that good, and beasts go loose in the city. City which seems to be under attack by an invisible monster, threatening to reveal to No-Majs the existence of the Wizarding community… So Newt’s timing is not exactly the best.

Soon, we meet the rest of the characters, Jacob who gets hilariously entangled with Newt, Tina Goldstein the ex-Auror who spots trouble as soon as she sees Newt for the first time, and her sister Queenie who possesses an unusual power (I have to say that from the trailer, I thought I wouldn’t like her, but she was actually one of my favourite characters!)

And it doesn’t take long to realise that the dark matter at hand will be blamed on Newt, to hide the guilt of the true culprit, and the dangerous ambitions of some.

Before I continue let me say that this movie was full of magic and surprises, and I absolutely loved it. The music was also excellent, as usual with the Harry Potter franchise. And as a huge fan of Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller, I may be a bit biased, but their performances were absolutely excellent, as well as that of the rest of the cast!

I know some people didn’t like the movie for various reasons, but honestly, I totally enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I didn’t want it to be over.

Now I’m going to mention spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can stop here.

If you carry on reading, don’t blame me later!

I could go on for hours on how cute, beautiful, incredible the beasts were, but what was even more incredible was the inside of Newt’s case! I think that we see him disappearing into it at some point in the trailer, but oh the wonders inside! So many beautiful settings! If I had a case like this I would never go outside again. (And Jacob trying to get into the case was a very welcome moment of comic relief.)

I really loved this movie because it was full of things I didn’t expect. It was so much more than what appeared in the trailer. And that was brilliant. I know from the posters that Ezra Miller was going to be in the trailer, but I hadn’t quite understood his role would be. Credence and his “mother” were for me an unexpected and incredible part of the movie. It is interesting to see the presence of witch hunting, which is something America has always been known for (Salem anyone). And it is interesting to see it still present in the 20s. Now, Credence’s mom (sorry I didn’t catch her name) is bat shit crazy, but she is at least right on one thing: wizards do exist. However she is a bad person, an awful woman, and I just want to punch her. She was an interesting addition to the story though… But not as interesting as Credence, obviously. When we learned that Graves was looking for a young person, I immediately thought it might be Credence. But then he called him a squib, and I was like?? What’s going on?? Though it explained his relationship to the magical world. But then, the truth was unveiled in the most amazing way… Though his ending was tragic, I really liked Credence (and I really appreciated the mention of the Deathly Hallows).

We know from the beginning that something is up with Graves, he tries to blame all the crazy stuff on Newt, and always seems to know more than he lets on. He even tries to get both Newt and Tina killed (a whole new level of crazy). I suspected he might be a disciple of Grindelwald, but I have to say, I totally didn’t expect him to actually be Grindelwald, so that was an interesting plot twist. And I know a lot of people complained about it, but I have to say, Johnny Depp is not the perfect cast as Grindelwald. I would have expected a younger actor, a charming young man… I totally didn’t picture him like this so I am a tad disappointed… But we will see more of him in the next movie, so I will have to wait and see to make my final judgement.

What else did I want to mention? Aside from the ending, obviously. Well this movie was much darker than I had expected, it had some interesting political stakes that I hadn’t suspected at all, and that were very welcome. It’s a change from what we saw in Harry Potter, but also a very pleasant return to the magical world.

And finally, the thing that broke my heart the most: the ending. First, we have to let Credence go. Then, in the most heartbreaking scene ever, Jacob says goodbye to his newfound friends – he is probably Newt’s only friend or almost, and his relationship with Queenie was the most adorable thing, why would you do this to me?! And then, we see Newt leave America after saying goodbye to Tina in the most cute and awkward scene ever… My heart was broken into a million pieces by this ending. This movie made me feel so many things, I am now even more in love with the Wizarding World than I ever was.

5 out of 5 stars, obviously ♥

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Please, let’s talk about it in the comments!

(Ps: I have so many things to say about this movie, I could honestly talk about it for hours, but I think this is already the longest article I have ever written, so I will just stop here…)


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