This past weekend, I went to see Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t really excited about seeing it. I felt like it was potentially a bit of a cash-grab, especially after being pretty unwhelmed by reading Cursed Child. However, a Potter-mad housemate and Eddie Redmayne’s face got me into my local cinema. And I’m so glad it did.
I grew up on Harry Potter. The series began as a book that was read to me, which I then started reading alone (partly due to my child self’s frustration at my Dad’s mis-pronunciation of Hermione). My brother and I dressed up as our favourite characters for Halloween, and would eagerly await our pre-orders of the new novels before gulping them down before the return to school (and the fear of being spoiled).
Like so many, to me Hogwarts felt like the dream school. I’d been obsessed with boarding school books from a young age, and Hogwarts combined that with amazing food, moving pictures, magic lessons and a school house system that just sounded beyond exciting. When the films bought this world to visual life, I found I could overlook plot elements that were missing just to get to see characters and places that I loved come to life on the big screen.
As the years passed, my love for the series waned a tad (even though the final film made me cry), although during my exam stress I would constantly wish I had a time turner and Hermione has been a constant inspiration. So when I was sat in the cinema at the grand-old age of 23, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
From the minute the title sequence started (with the famous Harry Potter chords), I was just completely swept up in the world that had once felt like an extended home to me. Fantastic Beasts is just utterly magical, from the 1920s setting (one of my favourite eras of fashion) to the fantastic beasts themselves, I just felt like I’d gone home. I came out of the cinema after a bit of a rubbish week feeling like I was on a magical high.
Because, as we know, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
(Seriously, it’s a great film with some really good performances and I want a Niffler)