On the 15th of November, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiere, and it was fantastic.
Before I go into the details of the night and the film itself, I thought I’d give a brief description of what actually happens when you get tickets to a premiere. Having won these, I had no idea what to expect and the internet provided little help, so here’s a little run down of how Leicester Square premieres work for future reference.
I received my tickets only a few days prior to the premiere, and with it came a set of brief instructions. First off, we had an allocated gap of time of 45 minutes to arrive in. We decided to arrive later rather than earlier as the celebrities tend to walk down the carpet only later in the evening (and it turns out we were right- J.K Rowling was RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES.) The instructions also allocated the cinema we were to see the film in; this was unexpected as I (rather naively) thought that everyone would watch the film in the same room. Turns out, not only are there different screens within the cinemas that people watch from, but also in different cinemas completely (seeing as Leicester Square is home to 3 massive cinemas). Finally, the instructions said ‘Dress code: smart’. Everyone looked great in dresses an suits, so if you ever get to go to a premiere, I say have fun and go all out!
Now as for what actually happens at the premiere. Upon arriving, we joined a queue of ticket winners to walk down the carpet. Yes, the RED CARPET. Or in this case, the blue one. If you’re like me, you’ll have no idea what to expect on the carpet. The key thing to know is that when you’re on the carpet, the security people will usher you down and make you keep walking. It will be over in 30 seconds, so milk it and take as many photos as possible (unless you’re important enough to walk down the rest of the carpet) (which I was not). Once we got inside the cinema, this was the moment to take photos. Movie posters provide excellent backdrops, and in this case there were special magic booths and costumes from the movies- VERY EXCITING.
Now onto the film itself. I loved it. To keep this a spoiler-free zone, let me start off by saying that this didn’t feel like a Potter movie. I think it’s important to know, because going into this with false expectations could ruin your enjoyment of the film. It felt like something new, with a completely different story, setting, and a refreshing new cast of characters. From a cinematic point of view, I thought the CGI was fantastic, and the whole set of 1920’s New York was particularly impressive considering a lot of it was filmed in Liverpool. I think that the best thing about the film for me was the atmosphere and vibe it achieved; it felt natural and vibrant and exactly how it should be.
With regards to the story, there have been a mixed bunch of opinions. Fantastic Beasts goes to a place that is a lot darker than expected, particularly with Credence’s story line and the background threat of Grindewald. Some felt slightly let down by this aspect and weren’t convinced with where the next 4 films are going, but I personally am very excited to see where Rowling and Yates take this next- there is a wealth of wizarding history yet to be explored and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us!