WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
It feels great to be back in the world again, the wizarding world that is. I have be completely honest with you, while I’ve been a Harry Potter for a long time, since the early ’00s anyway, I’ve always had a greater connection to the films than to the books. We can start pointing the finger here and saying “Well, you’re not a true fan then, are you?” and I’m not even going to attempt to defend my knowledge of the books because past the second it gets kinda ropey but let’s be honest nobody can start criticising this film for it’s closeness to the book. Otherwise you’d have probably ended up with short film about a fictional piece within a work of fiction that hasn’t even been published yet.
I’ll start by saying that what this film lacks is a clear narrative direction. It’s sort of like stumbling into a world that J.K Rowling spends so long trying to define that multiple narratives start and very few actually find a conclusive ending in this film. In that sense it almost feels like it would’ve made a better television series than a film. However, I actually really enjoyed exploring the characters of Newt Scamander, Jacob Kowalski, Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein, Queenie Goldstein and Credence Barebone to name but a few. Based on the fact that this is a completely different world, in a different time to the original story I definitely think it was important that we saw these characters fleshed out in the way that they were and by the end of the film the only characters I was suitably unimpressed with were Madame President (What even was her name? Was it even mentioned?) and Grindelwald (mostly due to his lack of screen time, i.e. none until the last few minutes when his identity is revealed to the wizarding community).
This is definitely the start of a greater work here and nothing could make that more inherently obvious than the inclusion of a top-billed actor with less than five minutes screen time, Johnny Depp. At times it was even Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Newt Scamander felt reminiscent of Matt Smith’s performance as Doctor Who and in many ways with it’s multi narrative format, I felt that the movie form was misunderstood by the creators. One thing is certain though, I would certainly pay time and time again to see more of this world, no matter in what form it’s given to us.