Personal context : I’m not a fan of hardcore the JKRU (the J. K Rowling’s Universe), even if I’ve read all the Harry Potter books ; having loved it (especially the last four), their film adaptations, however, have my preference, and, more particularly, in this order : The Prisoner Of Azkaban (in which I dedicated an article a little fanboy), The relic part 1, The relic part 2, The Sorcerer’s stone, The order of the Phoenix, Chamber of secrets, The prince of half Blood and The goblet of Fire.
It seemed important to me to clarify my position as a semi-Potterhead, to justify the fact that the notice which is to follow, far from being objective, will be first of all centered on a point of view film.
For me, this ANIMAL FANTASY is really what it is, the adaptation of a book to the density of the pharaohs as know how to write to J. K. Rowling … … … but a book that does not exist yet !
Off without the material, literary, impossible to rely on this consistency and amount mind-blowing details that, in the past, have allowed Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates to build the saga of Harry Potter as we know. A lack of consistency, which for us, is the starting point of a number of problems paradoxical peppering THE FANTASTIC ANIMALS.
By examining the promises filtering through the trailers (here), we pondered the question of whether David Yates (director of the last 4 films Harry Potter), was to be considered as an “author”, able to instil their own personality to a piece, or a “doer” who has fully assimilated the JKRU and serves as a great illustrator – nothing more.
An important issue, precisely because of THE FANTASTIC ANIMALS, as the original script and not an adaptation of a book already in existence, required the vision of a writer-director to fill the huge gaps film of the literary universe of J. K. Rowling… so why not transcend it, as had been done by Alfonso Cuaron.
Attention : process the script of JKR gruyere does not mean that we find it bad, on the contrary : it is fantastic.
Full of tracks, twists, characters and complexity, it develops a universe once again is rich and coherent and at a scale that most is, a double-saga exploded in the time !
To do this, it is necessary to add scope: this script could be a new step in film founder, re-proposed by J. K. Rowling: one where the hero begins the story as a Mature, already aware of the surrounding world and its own influence on it (as we finally, these readers/viewers of Harry Potter who have grown up) ; a hero ready to take a fresh look devoid of judgment on the world, to take part in an adventure where his experience is the trigger and the motor of history, rather than the now classic need to accomplish his initiatory journey. And in fact, it is exactly what THE ANIMALS are FANTASTIC ; an exciting evolution of the genre Young Adult accompanying our own maturity, our own perspective on the world, but also about Cinema and its characteristics.
It is as well as the film from this script could have been a counterpoint interesting to the Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, Maze or 5th Wave, who have been able to offer more or less of consistency, depth, and maturity, and distinguish as well as their common influence, the saga Harry Potter.
“It lacks the Fantastic Animals the personality of a writer to give life to the rich script from J. K. Rowling”
Unfortunately, as exciting as this proposal, it is not a material film in itself and it is here that the realization, rather than illustrate it profusely, should have a maximum of empathy with the depth and richness hallucinating from the script to then better give him life. An achievement which ought therefore to have taken the relay to combine form and background, whilst binding together the different aspects of the arts; screenplay, stage directing and interpretation, artistic direction, audio-visual; scope of the film beyond the material film… each of these elements, taken separately, exhibited his own success… But also failure to act in combination with other. And according to us, then there is A faulty major : the director. David Yates.
For example : the staging of David Yates may be strong, depending on whether it is a maker… But precisely for this same reason, it also lacks incredibly personality. No gimmicks of achievement, no atmosphere, no real moment of bravery… Is not to be found, therefore, nothing of what made the success of the two Relics. There is only to see the strange softness of the film hesitating constantly between exposure and development, at the expense of the action, but also of empathy – which leads to another concern structural : characters ;
The trouble about them, is that they seem to have remained at the stage of characterization, when the universe of J. K. Rowling demanded from them a certain complexity / versatility of the cinema, to accompany the many tracks offered by the script. It is not a question here of the interpretation, the actors out all as excellent by their ability to take from A to Z roles with no real shade (special mention to Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell). What we see on the screen, and is rather the result of a direction of the actors too focused on the illustration of a scenario, rather, they are characters decidedly one-way and therefore quickly annoying, when a certain degree of confidence on the part of the director in the capacity of the actors to give life to something other than a caricature, would have been of benefit to all.
With the artistic direction, there were many aspects to exploit through the context, the New York of the 30s. Policy, progressivism, immigration, racism, technological advances, and pre-war period, economic crisis… and in the magical universe, there was a way to interact with this “new world” with the ” old world” – one of Harry Potter… and more to develop new items. In short : the promise of an artistic direction, combining “U. S. A. 30 years” VS “magical world” was a postulate of exceptional…
Yet, none of this never takes life, because everything is over. The magical world does not interact with the context and vice versa ; the art direction does not substantiate or does not accompany the story. The details are many but do not feed into any overall coherence, it is big beautiful and detailed, but this does not make sense.
“The art direction and digital imaging are struggling to represent the “fantastic” promised by the title.”
The more harmful will may be the inability of the film to represent the “fantastic” promised by the title. A problem that extends to all ways, well beyond the franchise, Harry Potter ;
Let’s go back two seconds in 2009, and Avatar.
With the movie of James Cameron, the artistic divisions of the film industry have suddenly realised that the technology was sufficiently advanced to represent in a realistic way, No MATTER WHAT. If this revolution was minimized by the speech focusing on the lack of risks being taken in the scenario, however, we can observe its impact very negative on almost all films that try as Avatar, to represent the wonderful via digital imaging. Negative, because none will do that, each film trying to resume with less relevance to the artistic features of its predecessors, and the arrival, a sense of standardization to the fantastic, from film to film.
Apart from the Obscurus, a sort of black smoke in Lost , which manages to be fantastic by its very nature indefinable, THE FANTASTIC ANIMALS is no exception to the rule of the digital imagery disgusting, but any, even though his universe has the merit of being wide. As almost always, this “wonderful”, “extraordinary”, is that a merger between two or three things common to a result that is as little credible that visually gerbant – especially when it is in fact a living thing.
By extension, If the famous “fantastic beasts” will not fascinate ever, how to get the viewer to take an interest in their history ? And if the story is never interesting (as she should be !), where to find the interest of the film ?
Finally, it is on the side of nostalgia that we will find what is lacking in the characters, the directing, and artistic direction. Because yes, there is an immense joy to re-find in this magic world that has accompanied our childhood / adolescence / adulescence… The same nostalgia that tells us not to totally criticize the film, even though there has not seen much work in spite of its many independent qualities.
Overall, all this skews our pleasure in front of these ANIMALS FANTASTIC, as all the elements seemed to be aligned for a great movie. It is disappointing, however, while claiming to be one of the blockbusters most stimulants of the time, by his incredible wealth.
Paradox, when you hold us…
Your opinion ?