Being an avid fan of the Harry Potter universe for over a decade, I was one of the many people insanely excited for the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Unlike the play The Cursed Child, this movie is not a continuation of the Harry Potter characters, but actually takes place in America in the 1920s, following a whole new set of characters. Main character Newt Scamander is taken on by Les Miserables actor Eddie Redmayne, who performs magnificently alongside other big names such as Colin Farrell and Jon Voight. Again, being a fan and being friends with other fans, I was apt to be incredibly critical of every choice made for this movie, but I was amazed and impressed with Redmayne’s performance as well as the performance by the lesser well known actors, such as Dan Fogler and Ezra Miller. The amazing acting, beautiful special effects, and great plot line made the movie so loved by the Harry Potter fandom as well as everyone else.
I was happy to see that the trailers being endlessly posted on social media did not give away any crucial elements of the story line, giving the movie a good amount of shock factor at the climax. The movie held up at retaining the old magic all of us loved in the Harry Potter series while adding a bit of new quirkiness as well. Though a midnight premiere was not held here in Flagstaff, plenty of people showed up in a great amount of excitement, and now it seems that many are eager for more. The movie did have some room for expansion at the end as four more movies are planned for the Fantastic Beasts series, though I can honestly (and excitedly) say, I have no idea where they are going to go with it.
However, one decision has made a dent in the movie’s popularity, and it actually comes from the casting of a popular, A-list actor. Even before the movie came out, rumors had spread that Johnny Depp was cast in a small, but incredibly important role in the film, and after seeing it, I am rather dismayed. Many Harry Potter fans (myself included) were not excited about the casting of Depp in the movie, and I got to see that firsthand in the theater. Having forgot about his involvement, I was surprised when Depp’s part came on, as were many others judging by the confused muttering at seeing his face. Certainly this was not intended by the makers, as many reports have come out defending Depp’s role in the movie. I will let you all judge for yourself, but after reading what the filmmakers had to say on the subject, I cannot deny that their intentions were good, though it has definitely not hit a very good mark with the rest of us.
All in all, I will let viewers judge the direction of the film for themselves, but I would highly recommend Fantastic Beasts to any and all. The humor, magic, and adventure leave something for everyone to enjoy, and I will be the one of many eagerly awaiting the sequel.
Photo Credit: IMDb