Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fantastic beasts and where to find them

Everyone knows that Harry Potter is a "B" series with a lot of luck, because it's like a Tolkien rewritten by Paulo Coelho; which is not surprising, because it is this simplicity that owes its tremendous success, in this decline of the popular culture in which Modernity decays. After all, it is also true that Tolkien himself was a popular synthesis of the Nordic sagas; rather than with a non-mercantilist sense, which allowed him to reproduce the subtlety and complexity of these traditions in the epitome of fantastic literature. In any case, even as a Tolkien passed by the water of banal populism, Harry Potter had a certain consistency; which was enough to justify the avalanche of special effects with which the cinema made it more colorful, to the point of dissimulating its common places.

That is not the case with Fantastic beasts and where to find them, whose inconsistency makes it almost offensive; to the point that, if Harry Potter was a sort of Tolkien rewritten by Coelho, this is like Coelho himself, but against Lovecraft. The metaphor is almost literal, because in the film there is even a certain allusion to the icon of Cthulhu, however bland and childish; as in short, almost all the figures equally inspired by the medieval bestiary according to the sublime Lovecraft, which more than topical and recurrent are simplistic and trite. Within all that, an improbable mixture, that tries to incorporate the tradition of the North American horror; but without ever passing from the common place and the easy appointment, of iconographic value, without real dramatic substance.

In fact, dramaturgy is the weakest point of the whole film, with an atrocious poverty that makes him limping from all his legs; followed closely by performances at the level of caricatured cliché and the carving of so reductive. Of these, stands the one of Eddie Redmayne, demonstrating that its characterizations are not great and picturesque but a mere trick; repeating what turns out to be mere tics of pure efficacy, which he repeats from The good shepherd to The Theory of Everything, in characters so different that they open their own world of possibilities. Any way the performances in general are so bad, that perhaps he did it in a doubly histrionic effort; to be in tune with a cast that seemed a fair of freekies, and not precisely because of the colorful but by the grotesque.

However, Dan Fogler's performance, whose scenic decency is the only colorful note in that desert landscape, should be emphasized; making it clear that a good actor rises above the worst dramaturgies, setting his own scale of values. In fact, that would be the main flaw of the film, a drama so weak as to seem non-existent; so that the recurring cliché of the actors is justified, as the astonishment at the lack of a real role. There is no mistake, all fantasy is no more than a representation —that is what it means— and therefore is always effective; because it is armed as a binary sequence, in whose twisting it hides its dramatic value, like a dramaturgy.

The problem with Fantastic beasts is this braiding, for it is not the same a dramatic event by the sublime Lovecraft that by the vulgarity of Coelho; and so, even if this history makes sense, it does not manage to override the bragging of technical resources and special effects. No prequel has the fate of the sequel that justifies, and less of the history in which it originates; because it is usually a false stretch of the first success, which is already wasted in the continuations. The only difference was Tolkien's Silmarillion, but just because it was not a mercantilist operation but a passion of when capitalism was inaugurated; not of this false sublimity in which everybody pursue success and some seem to achieve it, regardless of the experience itself.

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