Nov. 20th, 2016

birdsofshore: (flapping)
I saw Fantastic Beasts again today, and WOW, more surprises - I absolutely LOVED IT.

NON-SPOILERY VERSION: I honestly think it overwhelmed me a bit on Friday - there was so much to take in, so many new characters, so many plot strands, and so many different beasts. This time I felt pretty clear in my head what was going on, after talking it through with friends and reading reviews and meta, and I could just sit back and enjoy it. I really, really enjoyed it, very much indeed. Almost everything that bothered me the first time feels resolved in my mind, I feel enthusiastic about some of the things I disliked, and I LOVEDDDD the things I liked the first time around. Specifics under the cut, with SPOILERS, so please don't read if that's a problem for you. Possible spoilers in the comments too :)

NEWT: I really got so much more from Eddie Redmayne's performance this time. I love the physical quirks he uses for Newt, and the facial expressions, the sparing eye contact, the way he hides behind his fringe, the awkward gait, and the whole way he speaks. After watching the film on Friday I felt that Newt could easily be on the autistic spectrum, and watching it for a second time with that head canon in mind, I feel pretty certain that Eddie is playing him that way, and doing a beautiful job of it. I think I had invested such a lot in the character of Newt after cosplaying him for months, and when he wasn't exactly as I had imagined, it really threw me. But I feel like I 'know' him properly now, and I'm so happy, I'm in love with him all over again. I'm so glad the 'hero' is this fabulous, quirky, earnest, apologetic, driven, focused, socially-challenged, deeply-caring character.


TINA! I really like Tina now! She clicked for me too! I can't remember the exact words, but at one point Graves says something like, "Tina. Always popping up where you're not wanted." And YES! She is! And she always will be, because she cares SO MUCH and she will never, never let injustice pass by. She will always be investigating, usually with that little frown on her face, because it's so important to her, and she's going to put the world to rights. Although I got no chemistry from the actors, I think the way the characters are written, they can work really well together (although I still think friends rather than romance would have been great).

CREDENCE OMG CREDENNNNNCEEEEEE. I just. I have- I- GUH. I could turn into an angst queen for this boy. God, he's SO COMPELLING, the character and the backstory and the way Ezra Miller plays him? My god. I'm gone. I'm trash for him. Amazing. And [livejournal.com profile] vaysh kindly pointed out the news about a deleted scene which throws light on what happens to Credence, so I feel happier about that.

GRAVES OH YES. Really, everything I said last time and more. His clothes, his physicality, his spell casting, his voice, god, his voice. I'm now more concerned than ever about what the future holds for Graves when he's not Grindelwald, because apparently heaven on earth for me is Grindelwald in Colin Farrell's body, LOL. He and Credence in that alley are an absolute twisted, angsty, fucked up JOY. I was FLAILING with fangirl glee. I would watch those scenes a hundred times. NNNGGGGHH.

THE OBSCURUS oh gosh, it's so PRETTY and CLEVER.  I'm in love with it, it really took my breath away, it's absolutely stunningly executed. I was rapt watching it, and I hardly ever like special effects or things like that, they leave me cold usually.

THE PLOT STRANDS: I stand by my comments that there is too much going on in this film and that the tone is all over the place and that the characters suffer from the amount of EVENTS and THINGS crammed into the one film. Being a person who finds it hard to follow complex plots, and gets easily overloaded with information, I really struggled when watching it the first time. But now I've had time to digest, and have seen it again, I can appreciate much more all of the things that are happening, the breadth of the story that's being told, and the fact that this is a set up for a longer arc.

I feel a real dick that it took me two goes to appreciate what was happening, except that the five people I saw it with today said they were pretty lost, too. I think the film has been highly edited down from what was orginally written, and I think it's suffered. The HP films had the same problem, but of course anyone who had read the books could follow what was happening easily.

THE BEASTS: CGI creatures are never going to be my thing, but I enjoyed them a lot more the second time around, when I didn't feel bombarded with information.

THE HUMOUR: One new criticism I had this time was that some of the humour fell flat, and I'm not sure why. It seemed to be a problem for Eddie Redmayne, which I wasn't expecting, as I've seen him play humour beautifully. Maybe it was because the humour didn't quite fit with the way he played Newt? I'm thinking of the scene where he explains to Tina that the first sign of serious effects from a Murtlap bite was "flames from the anus." Personally, I think that should have been hilarious, but the audience stayed quiet both times I saw it. Then the scene where he woos the Erumpent, complete with noises and arse-wiggling? That was also strangely awkward and only mildly funny. Again, not sure why. I did love little moments like when he said "I'm more of a Chaser," but maybe that was because it was more of an HP in-joke?

Anyway, in general, I am just delighted, that I feel whole-heartedly positive about the film and the prospect of the whole series. Thank goodness I 'needed' to see it twice (had promised a group of friends we'd see it together this weekend), because I don't think I would have chosen to go back a second time after seeing it the first. So glad I did, though.

If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with my wild mood swings about the film. I felt pretty shitty to be so critical in my last post, but I did very much want to discuss the film, so I appreciate everyone who talked it over with me, and I'd love to hear if you have any more thoughts. ♥

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