I finally caught Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last night. I never read the novel, sorry. (Rowling lost me back when Harry Potter became the moody, self-involved teenager. Some characters can hold up against that, but not when the entire universe warps around them. It's just too much for me. Not that I feel she's a bad writer. She isn't. Just not my thing.) Anyway, it was every bit as gorgeous as I hoped it would be. The costumes were incredible. The sets were stunning. And my favorite characters were Queenie and the Baker character. The two of them couldn't have been cuter. I loved that. (In fact, at one point I told the screen, "He'd better mysteriously get the money for his bakery, and that shop had better be the most mysteriously successful bakery in New York." If you've seen the movie, you know exactly when I said it.) I'm normally not fond of the "fat, ugly dude gets the gorgeous gal" trope. It sends awful messages. However, there was actual chemistry between the two. It was very clear that Queenie fell for him for real. You could see how she lit up when he was in the room. It was like no one else existed. Plus, he, in turn, let her shine. He never once showed discomfort about her powers. He accepted her as she was and didn't try to mash her down to make himself bigger. They were like this matched set of bookends that wandered into the same room looking for some books to hold up.
Instead of books, they held up the whole movie.
I'll be honest, I went into the film with low expectations. Luckily. The setting (Flapper era New York) has so much potential. There was a lot going on politically, economically, and culturally at that time--deeply cool things that would've made the film jaw-dropping. Instead, it's like they phoned it in. For the record, I'm tired of the hapless caretaker of extremely dangerous creatures routine. Really? You're passion is the protection of endangered species of magical animals and you pack them in an unlocked suitcase for a trip to a country where they're legally killed? Really? And you still don't install some security after several of them escape and are further endangered? Why do we spend so much time in the film chasing after them? I actually got annoyed twenty minutes in. In fact, I was so annoyed that I couldn't work up interest in the Salem plot. [sigh] The actors were just as fantastic as the sets and costumes, but it seemed like all that potential was wasted doing...nothing much. Oh, and the Colin Farrell/Johnny Depp Scoobie Doo schtick? Yeah...sigh.
However, we did have Queenie and the baker. I could watch those two all day.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.