Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduces a more matured version of the Harry Potter universe. One that’s still a little too fan obliging at the moment.
I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last Saturday, and I delayed writing about it till now, because I didn’t know what to say.
Oh no, I don’t mean the movie was insipid or terrible. It had a good number of thrilling scenes. Just that, none of these felt particularly memorable. None felt too Harry Potter-like too, if I may so add.
Which is the problem I always have with sequels or remakes of movies I love. One expects so much of the same, while also craving for fresh materials, everything ends up just not feeling right. By that, I mean that while the fan service scenes were pleasing, and it was refreshing to see a more “adult” version of the wizarding world set in the American Jazz age, something still felt wrong. Was it the lack of a tragic orphan backstory? Was it the no-show by a younger Dumbledore? Or was it simply the whole Harry Potter concept being so British, so idiosyncratic, that outside of Britain it cannot feel right?
I don’t know. To be fair, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is but the first in five planned movies, so I shouldn’t expect befuddling conspiracies and epic spell battles. The way the movie ended also left lots of room for in-depth development. Hopefully, we see more than just a glamourous revisit to the HP world in subsequent entries. One last thing, I really wouldn’t mind more of those “fantastic beasts,” as in with them doing more than just showing themselves. I was really disappointed no one got snuffed by a Lethifold, or squashed to death by a rampaging Ironbelly. It also felt strange that the antagonists were not from the eponymous textbook, but entirely something else.
PS: Another thing that felt “odd” to me was Newt Scamander’s introvert personality. The way he wrote the textbook, I expected an Indy Jones alike explorer, or at least a seasoned diplomat. But perhaps he only evolves into those at the end of his grand adventures. Another reason thus to look forward to the subsequent movies.
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