This is hopefully a no spoiler post. There will be no discussion of plot points, endings or even character relationships. If you are a Harry Potter fan then something I am going to say might be a teeny tiny spoiler but not really. It’s a film about magical creature and I AM going to mention at least one. But mostly, it is about how I felt watching the film… not about what actually happens in the film. So, with that small disclosure out of the way, here we go.
So, unless you are an AVID Harry Potter avoider (in which case, why are you here in a post relating to the Wizarding World) then I’m sure you’ll be aware that there is a new addition to the Harry Potter fans’ universe. Yes, JK Rowling has abandoned the novel in favour of pure film. An extension to the world she created in Harry Potter her latest addition explores magic across the pond and from decades before the Boy Who Lived was even a twinkle in Lily and James’s eyes.
It is inspired by her publication of the school textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander which she published way back in ??? For Comic Relief. The brand new film follows Newt as he lands in 1920s New York where he inevitably gets into various types of bother relating to the collection of magical animals he has with him.
I LOVED IT! The only thing was disappointing was the use of the Harry Potter Theme music for the owning credits. I understand why they did it. If clearly signifies we’re entering the Wizarding World and sets up that expectation but for me it is just too intrinsically linked to Harry Potter and I would’ve liked a different opener. However, from then onwards it was just brilliant.
I went to see it on a Midnight release. Midnight releases have become something of an annual occurrence for me and I always get excited. I’m normally falling asleep on the sofa at 9pm and on bed for 10pm so staying up for something like this is a big event for me. I ended up being awake for just over 19 hours straight and every hour was worth it. The four hours sleep I managed to get in before getting up the next day were also worth it. As someone who needs her sleep and who grumps around if she doesn’t get it, to say it was worth it to me is high praise indeed!
Eddie Redmane is perfect as Newt. Not being a novel, I didn’t have any preconceptions of what the characters would look like but I have to say I thought he was spot on. I think I might be a little bit in love with Newt actually. It was actually a very interesting and actually refreshing experience to watch something of this ‘genre’ without already knowing the plot or looking out for mistakes, error or unnecessary plot changes. It had the excitement of a new Harry Potter book (more so than Cursed Child) and I was able to just enjoy the story unfurling for me. A lot of films I like are based on books and I simply cannot help looking out for those changes. Not having my ‘book-fan’ head on really did help me to enjoy the film even more.
My first moment of real excitement was the first proper appearance of a magical creature. A little something appears and sneaks off, his attention caught by something shiny. And then it hits me! It’s a NIFFLER! The non Harry Potter fans here won’t know what I’m on about. I hope that the fans out there shared my moment. I was very happy with my cinema buddy that night but to have been able to share my glee at that moment with someone who would’ve also spotted it would’ve been amazing.
Later on, I also had a realisation moment that the thing I initially thought was a ‘funny-looking hippogriff’ was actually a Thunderbird. To anyone out there who realised this straight away, don’t forget… I had been awake a very long time! I am only an amateur Pottermore user, I don’t check it regularly and don’t devour every new nugget with relish. To put it simply, I just don’t have the inclination or time. But I do enjoy an occasional browse, especially when something big happens and not too long ago I was sorted into my Ivermory house (That’s the North American Wizard School if you didn’t know) and was very happy with my result of Thunderbird. (I will always be a true Hufflepuff at heart though.)
It was fun, it was exciting, it was new. And I am very much looking forward to the next one. There was a cliffhanger to allow them to make more, but the story itself ties up nicely at the end. I will go and see it again and that quite frankly is the best review I could give this film.
Have you seen it? What did you think? Are you excited for more or do you think JK needs to call it a day on her Wizarding World?