Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)
Directed by: David Yates
Written by: J.K Rowling
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Sam Redford, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller
Many of you may not agree with this but I need to say my piece. This post has a SPOILER but honestly you won’t care.
The brilliant mind that is J.K. Rowling has blessed the world with what many consider a modern classic: Harry Potter. There are college courses that specifically study Harry Potter. Christian groups have advocated for the banning of the books (for whatever reason). The books have been made into blockbuster movies and JK is a household name. Rowling made it, she is sitting on top of the world.
So what does she do?
She milks it.
That’s right. The beloved author who will be discussed in literary textbooks in a hundred years will have to live with an asterisk attached to her name. She could’ve quietly put to rest her series, written other genres and lived out her days as an icon. But no…she had to push the bill.
I did not like Fantastic Beasts and if you read Harry Potter, neither will you. The Harry Potter films were created with a love of magic and the hopes that the viewers will be inspired with a sense of wonder. Fantastic Beasts is a film that hopes you’re still attached to that wonder and will spend money on merchandise. Studio money-grab at its finest, the studio chained J.K. to a desk for FIVE total movies. No longer is it about the movie, it’s about box office numbers.
As a result, Rowling churned out some “magic” and it’s pretty bad.
The film has a weak and super confusing storyline, the center being a tortured, creepy foster kid being some sort of demon cloud. The lovable supporting characters were the best thing about the film, which isn’t a good sign for Newt and Tina. The main characters struck me as one-dimensional and underdeveloped. Newt really likes creatures and Tina wants to be a good Auror. That’s literally all I can tell you about them. Think about that. One-Dimensional. This is not a good sign for a studio trying to build a franchise. Yes, the special effects were neat and the creatures were imaginative, but that doesn’t make it a good story.
I think the filmmakers were hoping we would be drawn to the creatures and be awestruck by magic like in Harry Potter. But that’s not why we loved Harry Potter. We loved Harry Potter because he was going through school just like the rest of us (mean teachers, bullies, drama and romance) but with an added mix of mystery and adventure. Plus, Harry had magic, which is why we would rather get lost in his world then deal with our own. Barring magic, Fantastic Beasts had none of this, which is why by the time I was halfway through the film I was bored. You couldn’t invest in the story or relate. Instead of feeling magical escapism, I just wanted to escape that theater.
I love Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, so it saddens me that this movie happened and that I had to write this scathing rant. I hope the studio either pulls the plug (doubt it) or that they pull their act together.