Thursday, 15 December 2016

Giving a Whole New Meaning to 'Living Out of a Suitcase' - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

(NB: The image of the film camera in the picture is from, a stock photo site. According to the site, all uploaded photos are free to use for personal or commercial use, and no attribution is necessary.)

I finally saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them today, so, without further ado, here is my outpouring of random thoughts and emotions. 

Newt is adorable. He's an introverted, socially awkward, animal lover. He's also a confirmed Hufflepuff, making the whole 'Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders' thing canon.

His three eventual companions, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob, are also all brilliant in their own unique way. Tina is a thouroughly determined auror who believes whole-heartedly in doing what she thinks is right. Queenie can read minds. She can hold a conversation all by herself. She was bright, happy, and always smiling. I don't care if she went to Ilvermorny! I'm claiming her for Hufflepuff! 

(...You can't do that.)

Watch me! 

Hufflepuff Pride!

Jacob doesn't quite know how he got into this mess. He's the only no-maj in a group of wizards. No-maj is the American muggle, which makes sense given the slight differences in British and American English. 

Plot-wise, Newt Scamander arrives in America with a suitcase full of (illegal) magical creatures which he takes (illegally) into New York, and illegally accidentally sets loose. Meanwhile, a MACUSA (think the Ministry for Magic, except American) wizard called Graves conspires vaguely in the background with Credence, an abused teenager whose mother runs the anti-magic New Salem Philanthropic Society. As you'd expect from a film that's part of the Harry Potter franchise, it's beautifully done. The scenery is perfect, and the creatures are gloriously animated. 

My two bugbears are both spoilers, so I'm going to be as vague as possible. The big reveal at the end, for me, came out of nowhere. There was no foreshadowing at all, or at least, none that I caught. The other is the sheer amount of misdirection as to what Graves and Credence were looking for. We were given very exact specifications - the same specifications from multiple characters, including Newt, who had some experience in the area - to the point where the reveal of what it was felt like cheating. Maybe these would be remedied by a rewatch? 

Have you seen Fantastic Beasts? What did you think?