Can this film continue to enchant audiences like Harry Potter once did?
I am positive you will find it does.
So we’re plummeted back into the famous magical world created by J.K. Rowling, the only difference being its 1920s America. Does not sound like such a big deal, but upon his arrival Newt Scamander quickly learns of a tension between the wizarding and ‘No-Maj’ (muggle) communities. Unfortunately for Newt, he quickly learns the meaning behind ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ as his suitcase full of magical beasts is accidentally swapped by a ‘No-Maj’ called Jacob. Not realising this, Jacob opens the case and Newt is sent on an adventure to re-capture his beloved beasts before all hell breaks loose!
Move over Harry, as there is a new hero in town and his name is Newt Scamander. Newt is not one looking for trouble; he would rather spend his time with the beasts he collects to study/protect them, resulting in him developing a maternal love/instinct for his creatures, which is quite frankly adorable. Eddie Redmayne perfectly captures the awkwardness of Newt, always avoiding eye-contact and constantly mumbling his way through the film, Newt is thrust into the spotlight as our new hero, after his encyclopaedia of magical beasts makes him the most qualified man on the scene to deal with a terrifying entity attacking New York.
Alongside Newt is Jacob, an incredibly likeable ‘No-Maj’ who nearly steals the show. Dan Fogler who plays Newt’s unlikely new friend delivers most of the humour in the film, with his mix of perfect comic timing and facial expressions of utter disbelief at being introduced to the wizarding world. Although, I will quickly mention that the Niffler, one of the magical beasts adds a great deal of humour to the plot, which is at times needed.
The film clocks in at around two hours, which for some might bring delight, but for me I felt that film could have been shortened with some of the plot being drawn out or predictable (controversial I know!) However, the array of magical beasts are brought to life brilliantly with excellent special effects, and a round of applause for Redmayne for his realistic portrayal of interacting with the beasts, especially one beast in particular.. Moving on, it is the companionship of Newt and his beasts which propel the film forward and also sets up for the upcoming sequels. The film balances the right amount of time on Newt’s story and the surrounding plots, which are all brought together in the finale.
With little nods placed here and there to HP, this film welcomes audiences back into the magical world we have come to love with a new adventure which distinguishes itself from the original HP series, however magical is was, I do have to admit I was at times disappointingly underwhelmed by the film.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is currently playing at all major cinemas.