The second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series has very recently hit the theaters. Therefore, the Fantastic Beasts craze, which arose when the first movie came out in 2016, has lit back up. Since the movie seems to be what every person who is slightly interested in Harry Potter is talking about, I wanted to give you my honest opinion about it. Spoiler alert: if you are thinking of seeing it, be prepared for large crowds, interesting characters and a small dose of history.
With the Fantastic Beasts series it seems like J.K. Rowling has another million dollar project on her hands and when looking at the huge crowd I encountered when going to see this movie, I can’t say otherwise. To paint you a picture: even though the pre-movie trailers had already started, the amount of people that were in line to get into to the cinema continued to grow.
But is this movie really worth the hype or is it just trying to make money off of the Harry Potter craze? Well, I think that the movies are actually adding value to the concept of the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Let me explain why.
Apart from great special effects, which were to be expected with a 200 million dollar budget, I find the series really struck an interesting angle with their main protagonist. Newt Scamander, the main character that we were already introduced to in the first movie, is refreshingly awkward, quirky and realistic. He is not a physically strong, macho man that is about to save the world with his incredible powers and who gets all the girls – like we see in many movies that portray a male hero. He is awkward with girls, prefers to spent his time with animals rather than with humans (or wizards), and avoids conflict as much as possible. This makes him a unique hero that we do not see a lot nowadays and who opens up a whole new spectrum of characteristics that can be assigned to male heroes.
The Fantastic Beasts movies combine this world with the intriguing 1920’s – and it does this very well
More than just a fantasy movie
On top of this, what amazed me the most about the movie is that it really combined fantasy with actual history. In contrast to the Harry Potter movies which mostly revolve around the wizarding world, the Fantastic Beasts movies combine this world with the intriguing 1920’s – and it does this very well.
The integration of history can be seen when at one point there is a reference to the then upcoming second world war with seemingly real footage of the horrors that took place during this war, such as showing the trains that were taking people to the concentration camps. This aspect really makes the movie a lot more interesting to watch since it seems to send a message about the events that took place during this period of history. Some people even go as far as saying that the antagonist played by Johnny Depp is supposed to resemble Adolf Hitler in a way since he, like Hitler, tries to convince people that one type of people is inferior to another.
Only for Potter fans?
Having said all of this, I do want to give you a small disclaimer. Even though I think the movie is very entertaining, I do think that it is more interesting to watch for people who are interested in Harry Potter. This because the movie uses some characters that we have already met in the Harry Potter series to thicken the storyline of these characters. If you would not know these characters beforehand, it would make the movie a lot less interesting to watch since part of the excitement is that you are constantly curious about the new “Harry Potter insights” you will get from this movie.
Nonetheless, I would still consider it a must watch for most people. Even though there are always things that could have been better, I respect the way in which a movie that could so easily have been a knock-off Harry Potter movie, really stands on its own. The only real disadvantage I can think of is the fact that we need to wait until 2020 to see how the story continues…
Cover: Youtube / Final Editor: Thomas Korver