Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them (2016)

5 years later a dead fandom comes to life and in the most magical way possible.

I still remember when the eight year old me sat in one of the old cinema seats to watch one of my favourite books come to life on the big screen; the anticipation, the barely contained excitement, the awe at finally getting to see the magical world that I had imagined and built up in my mind for a few years. And I loved every bit of it (because as children most of us weren’t really critical about the minor or even some of the major flaws, were we?). Then came the remaining seven movies and with every introduction the Warner Bros. logo became more than just a symbol. By the end of Deathly Hallows – Part 2 every Potterhead could vouch that the mere sight of the Warner Bros. logo could bring forth a flood of emotions one could hardly explain.

J.K. Rowling had already written off the idea of any new stories related to the Potter world and even though we took her word for it, I don’t think we can deny that every fake story that stemmed from internet trolls made our heads turn. So when the news of the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ movie broke out, I wasn’t really sure whether I should get my hopes up. Once it was confirmed though, I was back to fangirling more than ever. But in the following months I kept having my doubts. Could it live up to the hype? It was after all one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The cast seemed to be incredible but would the plot live up to our expectations? The addition of the Cursed Child script to the mix did nothing to help those doubts (Still trying to erase that from my mind. Someone Obliviate me!).

November finally arrived and it was time to see what was in store for us.

*cue internal screaming at the sight of the Warner Bros. logo*

There are so many questions that come to mind during and after the movie but I’ll get the most important one out of the way first. Are we sure Eddie Redmayne isn’t really a wizard? Because that was one heck of a magical performance!
From the discussions I have had with fellow Potterheads and from the comments I have read about the movie I can only say this, Eddie Redmayne managed to capture the hearts of most Potterheads out there without (and that’s if we’re assuming he isn’t a wizard) the use of Amortentia.

Newt Scamander is the hero we all needed. Hufflepuff you truly stole the glory of every other Hogwarts house and how.
Most people (and especially those of us who have watched AVPM) have at some point wondered out loud “What the hell is a Hufflepuff?”.

Newt truly gave us the answer!

Hufflepuff has always been the most underappreciated house. Cedric according to me was never given the acclamation he deserved. Tonks’ bravery and loyalty were largely (if not entirely) overlooked because of her goofiness. But then comes Newt and we’re all sitting here eating our words about the Badgers.

Newt Scamander (This amazing human cannot be appreciated enough) represents every quality that makes you a true Hufflepuff. Yep, they’re not just spares. A lot of people have taken up to describing Newt’s character as “pure”. And it’s not because the character is flawless, it’s because his flaws can be overlooked when you try to rate them against his many great qualities. The kind of compassion, loyalty and selflessness Newt exhibits, not only towards the human friends he makes on his journey but towards the many magical creatures he has gathered over the years is only seen once before in the Potter universe. That one moment in the movie where Tina assumes his book is an extermination guide, and Newt corrects her, by telling her that it’s a guide to help his fellow wizards and witches understand the creatures and educate them about how they need to be cared for, rather than destroyed, truly captures his soul.

There are quite a few moments that keep highlighting this aspect of his personality, like the absolute shock on his face when Mr. Graves calls the Obscurus useless and he can’t comprehend why anyone would want to make use of such a destructive force. Others would be him asking Credence for permission to approach him, him caring about the Ministry hurting the creatures in his case more than his own death sentence, or just his relationship with Pickett. And who could forget him gifting Kowalski the silver Occamy eggs at the end of the movie.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ was definitely on level with the Harry Potter movies. It’s the first time we get a clear picture of how the magical community has integrated itself within the muggle community. It’s the first time we’re taken on a tour of a magical society outside Britain. It’s the first time we come to truly appreciate the effort it takes the magical community to remain underground (especially with a dark wizard going around raising havoc) and understand why the fear of exposure is so real.

And should I even begin with the Dumbledore-Grindelwald controversy? The truth about what went down between two of the most gifted wizards in history is finally going to be revealed. The wait for the next four movies is guaranteed to be an excruciating one when we now know what’s coming our way.

At least the Ariana mystery was finally solved for us.

We may have just gotten a glimpse of Grindelwald but Johnny Depp still managed to capture the essence of the snarky unhinged murderer, leaving us to solve the mystery behind his one liner. What the bloody hell did he mean by “Will we die, just a little?”

And if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Ezra Miller yet, it’s because I’m still trying to find the best words to describe his performance. He was absolutely incredible as Credence. Goddammit Ezra! You never cease to amaze us.

There’s so much more to praise here, from the lovable Queenie and Tina, to the one of a kind Muggle (or No-Maj, whatever floats your boat) Kowalski.

David Yates, once again, you totally nailed it!

However, I’ve got to conclude here by praising the real show-stealer and you have to agree with me on this one, it was the goddamn Niffler. Nifflers FTW!

About the Author:
Often accused of being in ‘too many’ fandoms, (as if there’s such a thing!) Merlyn is a copywriter who repeatedly finds herself in tight situations amongst muggles due to her encyclopedic knowledge of wizardry, dark arts and British men.

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