My philosophy is if you worry, you suffer twice.
Guess who’s back, back again. I know I’ve been gone for a long time, reaching the absurdity of creating a challenge that I didn’t even complete (good to know Lethis was battling it out for all of us, though). And I’m sorry for that, folks (not that I’m egocentric enough to believe you’ve missed me or something). Things have been messy. At least they’re the good kind of messy, which means bundles of work, little time. But, I’m not here for excuses. I’m here to talk about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
I’ve been away from the movies for a while now, haven’t gotten into one of those dark rooms in over two months, which is very new to me. So, today, I doubled the session and paired up this new journey into the wonderful old world of Harry Potter with the oh, so confusing and dark tale of Nocturnal Animals. It was a weird afternoon (yes, I normally check out movies in the afternoon, when there’s literally no one else in the theater, cinema where I live is barely keeping afloat). What is your favorite time to get to the movies? Let me know. I’m curious about these things.
You all know how much of a ‘purist’ I can be when it comes to sequels, prequels, spin-offs and all that jazz. I’m a firm believer in keeping what’s good good, instead of crapping all over it just to make a quick buck. So, I went into this half praying that it would be damn good, half wishing I’d find something to rant about. I’d gladly leave HP the way it was. Yet, I’d gladly watch four more of these as well. So, yep, Warner Bros, you’ve made me a happy camper. But, I’m not ready to trust you yet. And I probably won’t be until we’re done with these five movies and they’re all damn great.
So, I went into this looking for something to hate. I failed. Partly because the Harry Potter world is no galaxy far, far away or some peninsula on Middle Earth, this magical world can touch a plethora of tales, characters and ages without loosing its, well, magical touch. The Harry Potter thing can live beyond the actual boy who lived. There’s a new Star Wars coming up in a few days and we’re still rambling about Darth Vader (I’m not complaining). And partly because it’s wonderfully written from top to bottom and it’s just great. Great.
I have no unkind words to offer about this movie. The references are amazing, the cast is mesmerizing and the team handled the all thing with great skill. It’s an ode to Harry Potter and, at the same time, it’s its own thing. Truth be told, it had me smiling like an idiot from start to finish and that’s what movies are for.
Let’s get into the technicalities for a sec, here. The script is incredibly inventive and there is not one boring moment. Kudos, J.K. Rowling for keeping it in shape. Makeup and wardrobe, they’re both just so wonderful I can’t get over it, they’re so symbolic in their simplicity and so quirky and so beautiful (Newt, where did you get those shoes? Do tell). The sets are tight, everything looks great and still, well, simple enough not to become ridiculous. The effects are fine, I didn’t catch this in 3D though, so I can’t ramble about that subject in all its glory I suppose.
Eddie. The one we were all waiting for. He’s wonderful (trust I’ll repeat this word plenty). His mannerisms, his soft and unassertive voice, his weird walk. This guy is starting to become a master at building characters and it’s a privilege to watch him work his craft. I won’t run from it, though, he walks a very slim line here, and in most he does that’s slightly weirder (see Jupiter Ascending). His speech is directed inwards at such an extent that sometimes you can’t actually get what he’s saying. I wish he was more careful with his shyness from time to time. Yet, that’s just a tiny detail. The contrast he builds between the everyday Newt and the beast specialist Newt fits so perfectly and is so unbelievably powerful it hits you with a bang. Newt is that quiet fellow used to living his own world, but when it comes to his briefcase beings this energy just bursts out of him so wonderfully (there you go), this authority, this wisdom, this strength. It’s great. Truly. I couldn’t have picked a better person for this character and I’m so so so so glad this guy got the job.
Porpentina Goldstein, aka Tina, aka Katherine Waterston, I have to be honest, I didn’t really remember her in anything. But oh, my is she awesome. Her take on this character is so spot on and she balances Eddie Redmayne‘s efforts with such grace, I’d clap her perfomance for the entire movie if I could. Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol are exquisite additions, their little romance is wonderful (ups!) and what they bring to the table is relevant, fun and unique.
Ezra Miller. May this dude live forever. He is FANTASTIC. I simply adore all he does. He is very, very talented. He sinks Credence Barebone to such a raw, endearing and troubled level, your heart just goes wherever he decides to take it and it’s impossible to keep your eyes off him.
With Ezra came some tough subjects. Matters I wasn’t expecting to get in such an underlined and direct manner from an HP spin-off. Not that Harry Potter didn’t touch death and all that. But, Fantastic Beasts takes it one step further, I believe, at least in the way it reveals the hardships its characters go through. The belt, Mary Lou’s deadly stare. It goes to show this all deal has matured. The plot is growing with its audience and that’s so ingenious it deserves a mention on it’s own.
Colin Farrell delivers. Nothing worthy of a negative note here. Yet, let’s pause for a thank you note to all the wonderful (yet, again) Potterheads out there. I already knew Johnny Depp was Grindelwald or something similar to that, because of well, news. Despite that, I was oblivious to the fact the guy was in this movie already. So much so, I thought he was only showing up on the next one and was completely fooled by these two. The fact that I can still get a surprise like that, weeks after the premiere, not avoiding any comments on it, proves how great this fanbase is. I already know about all deaths in GoT and I’m only mid-way through the books, because you people suck and just tell stuff for the sake of being aholes. Harry Potter fans don’t do that. Potterheads are kind and wonderful (you know it) people and I thank them all for bringing that positive vibe into the world.
Since we’re talking about positive vibes I’ll take this opportunity to also be thankful about JK’s work and this wonderful (there you go) tale. Violence is still queen in the fair lands of entertainment. Heroes and role models in movies can be so questionable sometimes. It’s beyond wonderful (heck) the way Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is bringing kindness back, making it cool to be the really nice, Hufflepuff, humble kind of guy. Guess that house has something to brag about now, bastards. (#proudgryffindor, what house are you in, btw?)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not some sort of indie artistic endeavour. It’s not life changing cinema and it probably won’t become a classic in any way. But those aren’t really the goals of this thing. It’s a fun, heartwarming movie with the potential to shape the minds and imaginations of entire and very distinct generations with overall commendable artistry, care, emotion and, of course, magic. What more could you ask for?
The all thing is wonderful. Just wonderful.
So, what did you think of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?