When I got word that there was going to be another movie set in the Harry Potter universe, I was ecstatic! My elementary school years were dedicated to the Harry Potter books, so this was a big deal to me. The theater in our town is a little slow when it comes to new movies, so it took me a while to able to see it. During the time I was waiting, I got to see many other reviews and opinions. I was surprised to see that none of them were negative. Every Instagram account, Facebook page, and Tumblr blog had nothing bad to say about this movie. This really shocked me, considering most of them didn’t like “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at all. I, however, loved “Cursed Child”, so I had extremely high expectations for this movie.
Let’s just say that it did not disappoint. There were new lovable characters to meet, intense actions scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat, exciting plot twists, humor that will make you laugh out loud, and moments that will make you cry shamelessly. About halfway through the movie, I actually set my popcorn aside because I was so invested in the story. As a die-hard Harry Potter fangirl, I enjoyed this movie very much.
Being the nerd that I am, I wore my Time Turner replica necklace and brought the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook with me to the theater. As I sat in my seat, I fiddled with the necklace, hoping to make time go faster so the movie would start earlier. I was a little anxious, because I was afraid that the movie wouldn’t be as good as everyone says it is and my high expectations would be crushed. Nonetheless, as soon as the Warner Bros. logo appeared and Hedwig’s Theme started playing, I was grinning like an idiot. It occurred to me that I am seeing history in the making. Even though I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in the theater when I was 10 years old, I don’t think that I was able to appreciate it enough. I am getting to see a brand new Harry Potter movie in theaters with no book to base it on. This is the first time I had no clue what to expect when watching a Harry Potter movie. My excitement just multiplied after that realization.
I am now going to start a section full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, please go watch it. It’s amazing and I have little to no criticisms. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Let’s start with Newt Scamander. Normally, in movies like these, the main character isn’t my favorite… this was an exception. I loved Newt as a character. He is so charismatic and polite, he had me clutching my heart and saying “awwwww” several times. His love for his creatures and the way he takes care of them makes me love him even more. The reason he is in America in the first place is to return a Thunderbird to Arizona where it belongs. He cried when he gave up Pickett the Bowtruckle and he destroyed an entire jewelry shop to capture the Niffler. He knows exactly what to do in every situation and stays calm when everyone else is panicking. Even though I am a Slytherin myself, I’m happy that Newt Scamander is there giving Hufflepuff’s the recognition they deserve.
Out of the “main” characters, I have to say that Porpentina, or Tina, is my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was brilliant and she grew on me as the movie went on, but there are just some characters that you click with immediately and she took some time. At first, I wasn’t really a fan, with her going back and forth between Newt and the Magical Congress. The moment where I think I truly connected with her was when she was trying to help Credence (who will have his own paragraph here in a second) control his power. I was glad that Tina was choosing to do the right thing. From that moment on, she had my complete respect.
Tina has a sister named Queenie, who I was not expecting to like as much as I did. When I first met her, I thought she would be another stereotypical dumb blonde… except that’s exactly what she wants you to think. Queenie is more than what meets the eye. First off, she is a Legilimens. This means she can not only read minds, but also see into a person’s life story. Queenie is so much smarter and much more clever than she wants you to think. She uses this to her advantage. People underestimate her, so when it came to sneaking Newt, Jacob, and Tina out of the Magical Congress, she was able to do it easily! She is so kindhearted and an all around warm person, it’s so hard not to like her.
Speaking of Jacob, let’s talk about him next. He is the first Muggle (or No-Maj as American’s call them) to be welcomed into the wizarding world. Newt gladly takes him under his wing and shows him the world of Fantastic Beasts. Throughout the movie, there’s constant flirting between him and Queenie, which is really cute to watch. Even though he had no magic, Jacob proved his worth many times over. Which is why it made me so mad when they had to obliviate him. At first, I thought he would be safe from the magical rain since he was underground, but then the President spoke up and my hopes crashed. The goodbye between him and Newt, Queenie, and Tina made me cry. Amnesia in a main character is one of my least favorite plot devices in a story, so it made me so mad that they did that to such a sweet character. However, that scene at the end with Jacob and Queenie in the bakery helped me realize that maybe all hope is not yet lost.
A character that really pulled at my heartstrings was Credence Barebone. Credence is an Obscurial. This means that he has been forced to suppress his magic to the point where it will lash as a dark entity called an Obscurus. Obscurials are very rare and have always been found in small children, as the Obscurus would kill them before they became adults. However, we know that Credence is between the ages of 17 to 21, which makes him such an anomaly. Throughout the movie, we are warned of an Obscurial being on the loose. The movie is set up to make you suspect that it is Credence’s little sister, Modesty. While watching it though, I wasn’t so sure. I saw how much Credence’s “mother” hated magic and how she beat him every time something went wrong, even if it wasn’t his fault. I formed the theory and was a mixture of heartbroken and excited when I was proven correct. I was on the edge of my seat every time Graves was manipulating him and when the President ordered his death. As time went on, I got more and more protective of Credence and wanted nothing more than to give the poor boy a hug. This is why I was so happy when Tina and Newt attempted to talk to him so they could help. I thought of them helping him control his magic, maybe Credence becoming Newt’s apprentice at some point. Those dreams shattered when the Congress opened fire. I was so upset over this poor boy who had wanted nothing more than to be loved. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a small wisp of black slip away, and all those dreams started to come back.
The human character’s weren’t the only one’s giving me feels. The beasts in this movie gave me just as much emotion. The Niffler made me laugh as he chased anything shiny and at times I felt like I personally related to Pickett the Bowtruckle. The CGI on these beasts were fantastic (no pun intended). Everything looked so authentic and real. It was fun to learn about all these different creatures that may have been only mentioned briefly in the Harry Potter books. It’s easy to see why Newt loves them so much.
This had to be brought up at some time, so how about Graves turning out to be Grindelwald!? Even though I guessed that Credence was the Obscural, this one was a complete surprise. This just brings up a ton of questions. Such as, what’s going to happen with Grindewald now? Will he escape from the American prison? Where is the real Graves? How long has he been missing? And something that many are wondering… where is Dumbledore?
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I’m so happy that we got new material set in the Harry Potter universe. I went in with high expectations and all of them were met. I left the theatre happily, phone already in hand to look up everything I could about “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” I talked to anyone I could about favorite parts or theories for the next one. Again, if you haven’t seen this movie, I highly encourage you to watch it. As a high key Harry Potter fangirl… this was everything I could have wanted and more.