Visually it seems stunning –
a bit of background
Harry Potter was a series I loved growing up and still do. I was so quickly immersed in that universe and while it wasn’t these books that got me into fantasy, like with many others, I certainly was introduced to liking the universe as well – memorizing spells and fan theories and non-canon storylines. There were so many talented, and funny, fans that when “Cursed Child” came out I was screaming in horror. What the actual fuck was that plot? It made me lose all trust in more hp content. I don’t think I even did a review, because it was such a mess that I’ve mostly deleted it from my mind. I mean here’s my thoughts on cursed child summed up in something that happened this week –
Friend: “How many hp books are there really?”
Me: “Seven of the main series, and three others about quidditch, fantastic beasts and tales of beedle the bard”
Other hp fan: “Well, actually cursed – ”
Me: “NOPe, not that one.” Lots of glaring. Realising cursed child is basically Voldemort in that it shouldn’t be named.
ANyway – back to fantastic beasts
I liked fantastic beasts 1 as a movie. It was set in a different time, which made it less of a “threat” to the original work. I was excited to see the creatures come to life. How it was shot and the cinematics I thought were beautiful, even though it gave me “alice in wonderland” vibes sometimes. The story itself was just boring and bland.
When I finished the hp series the first time I wanted to know so much more about the characters and the universe. There existed wikis to check for every canon detail, there were as I said before tons of fan-theories and soon the collective imagination gave stories either for the original harry, hermione and ron’s future, their parents generation’s past or plotholes that appeared. J K Rowling has tried to fill every plot-hole in that series since, even the cultural “missings” like diversity. But fans already adopted these characters in so many ways, including writing an asian harry or darker skinned hermione. I do get angry at J K trying when throwing out things like Dumbledore was gay from the start, to write that in with nothing new backing it up. It would’ve been okay to me if the fantastic beasts team decided to write it in this film, making it one of the major points. And I’m kind of interested to see if they do, if they dare take any turns from the original universe and make itself worth being spoken about as its own series.
Someone told me there would be five fantastic beasts films yesterday, while we were discussing this upcoming film. My immediate reaction “they’re trying so hard to grab all the money they can”. The fact is that with the budget and the available talent these movies should be great! I think they’re too limited in chances they’re willing to take and creative space they’re willing to lend to writers, because I’m seeing little interesting (from the first movie at least). I do want to watch it – to see if this one is better – but it feels like I’m setting myself up for failure here.
These movies are too early for playing on nostalgia (like star wars reboot does for many) and too late for being a natural extension of the harry potter universe, giving answers fans like me wanted at that time and filling the hole it left after it was finished. Still don’t know if I should see Fantastic Beast. My friend listened to most of this and concluded that she still wanted more of the hp universe. I’m not so sure.