Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: Fastastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Drs C, with friend Ed, saw this Harry Potter prequel flick earlier tonight, at the cinema at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It is visually stunning, the creatures are pretty good, the depiction of 1920s NYC is well done, and the sort-of love stories between two couples of socially awkward people "work" too.

However, the accents are mumbly, the story line is obscure, and J.K. Rowling's anti-Americanism is on display in the plotting. I could have done without all of that.

Dumbledore's schoolboy-crush-turned-nemesis Gellert Grindelwald makes an appearance as the villain, played by an actor apparently chosen for his resemblance to Mitt Romney. Casting a Romney-lookalike to act gay feels like covert homophobic snark by a progressive film-maker.

The studio made a deliberate choice to select very ordinary-looking people for most lead roles. This gets in the way a bit for an audience accustomed to Hollywood's casting of attractive people.

When the film becomes available on DVD I will buy it and watch it again with the subtitles on. Then at least I will know what people were saying. Whether doing so clears up the plot ambiguity remains to be determined.