Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

What can you say about a movie that is kind and sweet?  I say hooray and what a pleasant change from CGI violence and redemptive violence as the solution to every problem, and manufacturing conflict between friends and natural allies.  (I’m looking at you Captain America: Civil War and Batman versus Superman.)

******************************** HERE COME SPOILERS************************

First the few quibbles I did have with the film.  I don’t think the flashing newspaper articles effectively set up the ultimate villain.  It was too quick and there was no context to the rest of the story.  Perhaps if Gellert Grindelwald had been tied in some fashion to Newt it would have worked better.  For me that eventual twist and reveal wasn’t set up well enough and hints dropped gracefully enough to make it seem integrated.

I love Eddie Redmayne and he portrayed a shy, on the autism spectrum figure very well.  He did tend to mumble so i missed some of his dialog.  I want to see the film again to see what I missed.  I also wanted a little better set up to the idea that wizards generally just destroy the magical creatures as heedlessly as humans drove the passenger pigeon to extinction and are well on the way to doing that to tigers, elephants, rhinos, giraffes — I’ll stop, it’s too depressing.

What I liked.  A lot.  Rowling in her screenplay managed to gracefully talk about anti-miscegenation laws, gay reparative therapy (otherwise known as torture), the dangers of fundamentalism, the problems faced by a smart, ambitious woman who steps out of line as exemplified by our heroine, Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein.  How the system is stacked against the “little guy”.

There is also a lovely little B story was about the muggle/no mag Kowalski and Queenie, Tina’s sister.  It’s a gentle love story.  It’s about a good man with a dream that instead of being nurtured and assisted is thwarted by greed and bureaucracy.  it’s about hard choices when Kowalski walks away from the woman he loves because to do otherwise would endanger her.  And he’s doing more then just walking away.  He’s consigning her to oblivion as he is forced to forget her and the magic he has experienced.

There’s a great deal of poignancy in this movie. Rowling leaves us with hope that things will get better, lovers will be reunited, but the adult knowledge that sometimes when evil is done its effects can’t be totally washed away.

One Response to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • T. Diane Smith says:

    I agree with everything said in this article. I found the movie a delight but warned my niece before she took the kids that there were issues of child abuse portrayed. It also effectively portrayed the dangers of discounting the voices of women, children, foreigners, or any other group.
    .

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