Overall rating: 4/5
As a Potterhead, it was very exciting to go back into the Potter world. It was new and exciting, and completely horrifying. The few characters we’ve heard about that are in the movie are dead in the 7 Harry Potter movies, and this movie is essentially introducing us to a completely different world that I didn’t know much about.
We got to learn about a different country, new creatures that we may have only heard about in passing, and new characters to obsess over. Unlike with the other books turned movies, we had NO idea what was going to happen. But, next to nothing could keep me away from the theatre to see a new movie in the Harry Potter universe.
I kept as far away from the trailers as possible, because I wanted to know as little as possible to enjoy it the most. However, I did think that this movie would follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he wrote his book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Instead, this movie starts with Newt coming to America with the hopes of releasing one of his Beasts back into the wilds of Arizona in 1926.
When his Beasts escape his magically enhanced suitcase, Newt attempts to find them again while the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) attempt to find who is letting wrecking havoc in New York. The Auror, Percival Graves, attempts to find the Obscurus, a dark, destructive force that happens when magical children attempt to suppress their powers, even though the MACUSA claims there’s none in America.
A No-Maj, what American witches and wizards call non magical people, accidentally grabs Newt’s suitcase and allows more creatures to escape. Newt sets out to find him, along with former Auror, Tina Goldstein, and they attempt to prove that Newt’s creatures are not responsible for destructive occurrences.
While Graves, Newt and Tina race to find the Obscurus for very different reasons. Newt and Tina want to help the child, while Graves wants to unleash him onto the world to reveal magic to Non-Majs. It’s revealed that Graves is not who he seems to be, and that he stands with the wizard, Gellert Grindelwald.
Honestly, I could spend hours writing about this movie and what it means. How long it took Newt to write his manuscript, WHY he was expelled from Hogwarts, what happened between him and his mysterious friend, did the No-Maj who took Newt’s bag have his memory completely wiped, if Dumbledore and Grindelwald are around the same age and Grindelwald looks SUPER old in the few seconds he’s present in this movie, HOW OLD IS DUMBLEDORE WHEN HE MEETS HARRY?!
SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, and this is only the first movie….