December 22, 2016
Filed under Reviews, Top Stories
On Nov. 18, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, directed by David Yates, was released worldwide. The movie stars british actor Eddie Redmayne in the role of Newt Scamander.
The movie begins in a dramatic fashion, opening with a team of wizards who face an unseen enemy, who defeats them quickly. A blue light flashes as the fight ends in an instant, killing everyone in the room except for one man with slicked-back, white hair. The screen then transitions to a series of newspaper headlines, warning about the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and troubling beast attacks in the United States. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
We first meet Newt, an optimistic, caring and gentle magizoologist (a zoologist for magical creatures), as he sits on a boat passing the Statue of Liberty. A briefcase sits at his feet, and the lock pops open by itself. Inside is a restless magical creature. Newt calms the creature by reassuring it that they’re almost at the end of their journey, and before long, he steps foot on American soil.
It doesn’t take long before the restless creature escapes into a bank, and Newt must chase after it through the “muggle” or, in American terms, “no-maj” world. This leads us to the introduction of Jacob Kowalski played by Dan Fogler, a no-maj who will become an important part in Newt’s journey, as well as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein played by Katherine Waterston. Goldstein is an American witch who works for the Magical Congress of the United States of America, in the wand permit department, who was previously demoted from her position as an auror, a wizard or witch who fights dark magic. The movie follows Newt and his new acquaintances as he searches for his missing creatures while inadvertently getting mixed up in the ongoing beast disturbances in New York.
While the film ties into the Harry Potter universe well, it wasn’t as captivating as the original Harry Potter movies were.The plotline was well written, but it wasn’t immediately clear how Grindelwald was relevant to Newt’s story, or who Newt’s main antagonist was. The movie was continuously switching between his point of view and the point of view of an adopted child called Credence played by Ezra Miller. For the majority of the movie, it was not clear how Credence’s story was relevant to Newt’s. Viewing the film felt like watching two different movies that happened to be taking place in the same time period and place that coincidentally happened to intermingle.
The humor throughout the movie was appropriately placed and provided the perfect balance of comedy and action. The graphics and special effects in the movie were absolutely astounding. From the beginning to the end, this movie never ceased to awe the audience with its mythical creatures and magic. There was a little something for everyone, which makes it a great movie for any viewer.
Overall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a fantastic addition to the Harry Potter universe, with a fair plot, great characters, and breathtaking creatures and magic. Whether viewers are zealous fans of the books and original movies or not, the movie does a fantastic job of keeping them in peak interest.