Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

was a delight from start to finish, a lovely bit of fantasy in a season that can use all the fun and fantasy we can muster.

The movie blends two plots--bad things happening in last-century magical New York, and a magician visiting the city with a bag full of fantastic creatures--to solid effect, with the threads inevitably and appropriately intertwining at the end.  The leads turn in solid performances, though I must admit that from time to time Eddie Redmayne's mush-mouthed delivery did frustrate me.

Like most films these days, Fantastic Beasts does not hold up well to critical analysis after the fact.  In particular, the magic community is both dramatically more powerful than the rest of the human world and also suffering under a highly questionable form of government and system of justice.  (Saying more would require spoilers, so I'll leave it at that; you'll know what I mean if you see the film.)

Though it certainly helps to know about the Harry Potter universe, that knowledge isn't really necessary to enjoy the film.  You can trust to the opening minutes to outline the setup, and from there, it's a new ride even for Potter fans.

If you want a fun couple of hours in the theater, definitely check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


old aggie said...

Wholeheartedly agree on all counts and plan to see it at least 1-2 more times. :-)

One particularly weak plot point was, (trying for no spoilers) if that certain character "found" that one magical creature so that they could show it and ask questions about it, are we expected to think that they left the others happy and where they were? This seemed like the weakest point to me.

I was pleased that IIRC the "Second Salem" group was not directly identified with Christianity or a church. There may have been some props to that effect, but it wasn't a focus. My own beliefs are much like those of your friend & partner Bill, and my friends and I are doing our best to valiantly hold the line when we run up against prejudice and nastiness. It has been heartening that, especially in these political times and associating with a good number of "conservatives," I have encountered only one person who seemed to think that hatred is now OK. That was at a party, and when I asked the hostess about it later (saying that I would need to back out of the next planned event if that person would be there because I cannot socialize with bigots), her eyes filled with tears and she was just horrified that those types of words were said under her roof. She expressed joy at how diverse people have told her that her home is "a safe place," and she intends it to stay that way. Sorry I'm rambling (and here on a movie post!), but there's so much vitriol on all sides now ... so sad and troubling. As my pastor said last week, When it gets darker and darker, the light of Truth shines all the brighter. I want to be a part of that.

I'm thankful that your blog is still a place of sanity, where disagreement doesn't descend into "inverted prejudice." (I just made up that term, I think - it means prejudice in the opposite direction.) Two wrongs don't make a right, even if one of them is Donald Trump.

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words. I think prejudice is everywhere, and all of us need to fight it.


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