WARNING SPOILERS CONTAINING THE PLOT OF FANTASTIC BEASTS IS INCLUDED. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Welcome back to the Wizarding World. That is how I felt watching this movie. It was like reuniting with an old friend and picking up where you left off without ever skipping a beat. It was so pleasing to hear Hedwig’s Theme in the beginning and then for it to fade out and have Fantastic Beasts music fade in. It felt like a polite gesture from J.K. Rowling saying, “Welcome back…let us catch up and open our minds to this brave new world.” It was like hugging a loved one after years apart. Filled with joy and love, you just can’t wait to begin again.
But before I got here I had my reservations. I was the first one to criticize this movie when I saw the teaser trailer. I love Harry Potter and I adore the Wizarding World. I didn’t want anything else besides more to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s storylines. I am a creature of habit and for all humans, alike change is never easy.
I didn’t like the idea of beasts. I didn’t care for the mystical creatures in Harry Potter other than Buckbeak. So the thought of this movie being solely based around magical creatures turned me away from it. The characters didn’t attend Hogwarts and were not a relatable age. It was losing me more and more each day but still there was something in the back of my mind that kept urging me to just give it a try.
My mother’s birthday came along and we always had a tradition of seeing The Hunger Games on her birthday because they came out the month of her birthday. With The Hunger Games being over this movie had presented itself at just the right time.
I admit my first instincts were completely wrong. It’s no wonder this movie has climbed well over 600 million at the box office. I laughed the entire movie and even shed a tear at the end. It was everything I never knew I wanted in a Harry Potter prequel. Eddie Redmayne’s character “Newt” was so adorable. He had just enough quirk and selflessness to make him loveable. He is the new Luna Lovegood. But, the most overlooked detail of our new magical hero is that he is a HUFFLEPUFF! That’s right you heard me right. Hufflepuffs are now in. You can catch a glimpse of his Hufflepuff house scarf in his suitcase and the beginning of the movie and then again when he wears it at the end of the movie. Newt is no other Hogwarts student we have ever been introduced to in this magical universe. He truly is something very special and I am glad to have him to look forward to in this new string of movies.
Newt isn’t the only hero in this movie. Tina, Queenie, and Jacob round out the rest of this cast. Tina is your independent go-getter who is always down to find the truth and seek justice. She can come off a bit cold at first but she has her reasons and you kind of just learn to like her anyway. Remember that snitches get stitches kids. But in this case, snitches get put in a black goop death pit that will disintegrate you with your fondest memories. Her chemistry with Newt is fun to watch and by the end, you’ll be wishing they get back together real soon for more adventures. Here’s hoping she brings a napkin next time to wipe off the mustard on her face.
Tina is just one of the females in this movie. Her sister Queenie is equally as important in this movie. Queenie can read minds which equally is impressive and quite freaky but it makes for great humor. She has a huge heart and you really just want to put her in a bubble wrapped room hoping nothing bad ever happens to her. She’s pure innocence and bliss. What I love the most about her is the loyalty she has to her friends and her sister Tina. She literally dropped everything she was doing to rescue her sister and Newt when they were in trouble. But like Queenie you have to love Jacob.
Jacob is hands down the best parts of the movie for me. From start to finish Dan Fogler delivers an incredible character who has become a quick fan favorite. The interesting part of this story is that Jacob is actually a muggle or as Americans would put it, “No Mag.” He ends up switching suitcases with Newt on accident and gets dragged into this world. We have never had a muggle be front and center in the Wizarding World. This a great new twist to the magical story and gives great perspective to both sides of the story. Harry was amazed by magic but he was a wizard and was able to do all the things he was amazed by. Jacob does not have this ability so what he feels if very relatable to the way we feel. Jacob provides much more than just being a comedic relief. He soon becomes Queenie’s love interest after he witnesses her cooking skills. He is a baker and watching Queenie make a delicious meal is all it took to fall for Queenie. He ends up befriending Newt and loving his creatures just as much as Newt. The predicaments these two find themselves in are some of the greatest shenanigans I have ever seen. Between the giggle outbursts, one-liners and even just the physical comedy Jacob is definitely a keeper. There ain’t no one like you Jacob.
Swooping Evil, Obscurus, and Pickett there are a ton of amazing beasts in this movie but Niffler is my favorite. He is one of the first beasts to escape the suitcase. He is attracted to anything that is shiny so when someone flips a shiny coin coming out of the bank he must get it. Coins, necklaces, diamonds you name it he has probably stuffed it in that pouch of his. The best part of Niffler is that he is super territorial over anything that he has stolen. I laughed at every stunt he would pull just to keep his claws on shiny things.
This movie is its name itself. FANTASTIC. Rarely, does a two-hour movie not feel like it. You are too busy being immersed and enjoying every minute. From the main characters to the animals you will love every part. If you are a Harry Potter fan then you should most definitely try this movie out.
That being said I am still hesitant on four more installations. The movie works well as a stand-alone Potter Prequel. I’m intrigued about its second movie and where they will take the storyline. I have my theories and reservations but I will still give the second movie a go. I’m not worried. After all, I think Newt has a great philosophy, “If you worry you’ll only suffer twice.”
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is in theaters now!