Fantastic beasts and where to find them is the film that airs this evening at 21.20 on Italia 1. It is the first chapter of the (currently) spinoff trilogy of the saga of Harry Potter. The story starts from a small booklet written by JK Rowling in which, in fact, the fantastic animals of the magical world created by the writer of the famous English wizard were analysed. The story then expanded, becoming the tale of the struggle of Good against Evil during the rise to power of the Dark wizard Grindelwald.
Fantastic beasts and where to find them, the plot
Released in theaters in 2016 and directed by David Yates, Fantastic beasts and where to find them is set in 1926 when magical creature scholar, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York. The wizarding world of the Big Apple has to deal with an anti-magic cult that seems willing to harm any wizards and witches that cross their path. Meanwhile, thanks to her Niffler’s escape, Newt meets Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) a Muggle who will join him and Auror Propentina “Tina” Goldstein (Catherine Waterston) in search of some fantastic animals escaped from the scholar’s enchanted suitcase. Meanwhile, Auror Graves (Colin Farrell) is investigating the Obscurus, a magical entity who is wreaking havoc on the city, along with the help of the orphan Credence (Ezra Miller). All this while fears are growing in the wizarding world that the dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is one step away from taking power.
What went wrong?
To date, the saga of Fantastic Beasts consists of three films: Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, The Crimes of Grindelwald And Dumbledore’s Secrets. On paper, this saga should have counted five films and filled the void left in the hearts of viewers by the end of the saga Harry Potter. But, during the creative process, some things didn’t go right and the saga seems to have now reached a fixed point that Warner Bros has no intention of unlocking. One of the main reasons for the failure of the saga was ignoring the fact that everyone who went to see it was a fan of Harry Potter and therefore the average viewer expected two things that were not fulfilled. The first is the presence of Hogwarts, the school of magic at the center of the main saga, which represents the symbol and the heart of the story and which, especially in the first two films, is almost completely left out of the picture, creating a sort of disorientation in the viewer.
As interesting and commendable as the idea of wanting to widen and deepen the universe was, denying almost entirely the heart of the universe itself was a move not so much risky as crazy. The second element that would have been legitimate to expect was the awareness that the new spinoff series would not have “renegade” the information of Harry Potter. Instead, especially as regards the second chapter, the story and the world building they are so full of errors, inconsistencies and retellings capable of creating plot holes in the main saga, that viewers immediately lost interest in a series of films led by an actor, Eddie Redmayne, who never had the charm to portray the outsider character who was to inherit the role of Daniel Radcliffe. Imprisoned in an acting made up mostly of grimaces and strange movements, Eddie Redmayne proved to be a dull protagonist as much as the story in which he was the protagonist.
The other two big problems – choosing not to focus too much on one flat script and lackluster – are issues that occurred off-screen, but which greatly affected audience judgment. The first is related to some transphobic statements by JK Rowling which cost her the respect and loyalty of a very large slice of the public, who chose to boycott any product bearing the writer’s name. This caused the saga’s credibility to plummet. The second problem, however, is related to Johnny Depp. The actor, who played the wizard Grindelwald seemed the only one who understood the epicness needed to be a villains in a film set in the world of Harry Potter. Despite this, the actor was fired from the saga after being defeated in court in London against the British newspaper The Sun in his fight against Amber Heard. The actor was then replaced by Mads Mikkelsen for the third film. The change, however, did not please fans and, at the same time, many complained about what they felt was an unfair dismissal. Sensation that has become more acute after the victory of Johnny Depp in the legal dispute against his ex-wife.