I don’t typically do movie reviews, on my blog or anywhere else, but I feel like this is a special occasion! I grew up with Harry Potter – waiting for new books to come out, racing my friends to finish it first, seeing the movies at midnight the night they came out! The book releases spanned my teenage and young adult years, from reading the first few books at age 14 to the final movie at 25. My first date with my husband was to see Disney/Pixar’s UP! But our second date(s) were a Harry Potter movie marathon before seeing the 6th movie at the drive in. My love of the Harry Potter universe is a close second to my love of Disney.
Now that you have some background about me, I was reservedly excited for the new Magical Beasts & Where to Find Them movie. “Back in my day…” we had to wait until midnight to see a movie the night it was released. I was sad that this would be the first JK Rowling movie that I wouldn’t be able to see the night it came out because of silly adulthood things like responsibilities and getting tired at 9pm. I was thrilled to find out our local theater had showings as early as 6pm Thursday! My friend and I reserved advance tickets for the 8:30pm showing in the 21+ dine-in theater – the countdown began!
My biggest concern was that the movie would try to just continue the same type of story line and would fail by comparison. I am happy to say that this movie was not a rehash of the same plot. The movie is set in New York City in the 1920s and focuses on magical adults, rather than the adventures of children. The plot was darker than I’d expected, more akin to later books/movies in the Harry Potter series. This movie definitely dealt with more adult themes. I won’t spoil anything, but there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the primary antagonist in the movie – it’s not a straightforward good versus evil story.
The visuals truly were fantastic, bringing characters and beasts to life in stunning fashion. The casting was phenomenal, particularly Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. The plot itself had twists and intricacies that are a hallmark of JK Rowling’s works. However, I feel like I need to see the movie again to really process my thoughts and feelings about it. I don’t know if it’s the Homecoming phenomenon (it looks and sounds similar, but the people have all changed), that I didn’t know the story beforehand like I did with the Harry Potter movies, or just that there was so much information that my mind couldn’t process it all. That’s not at all to say that I wouldn’t recommend it because I enjoyed the film and am glad to have the wizarding world back in my life – I just need to see it again.
Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think?