Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol
Director: David Yates
What’s Good: It’s as if truly the franchise has become an adult just like most of the readers grew up with Harry Potter. This film is not all magic and fun and certainly not a kiddie fun watch. It is thoughtful, slow and spectacular in its execution.
What’s Bad: Unlike the fantastic creatures in Scamander’s bag, the film’s characters and story do not get ample of space to expand. The narrative seems cramped in places and that could be a tough for Non HP fans to grasp.
Loo Break: Leave Eddie Redmayne or the magical world? Hell no!
Watch or Not?: Fantastic Beats and Where To Find Them may after all not be a suitable watch for Potter virgins thanks to its cramped plot. For HP maniacs, don’t compare and you’ll happily accept this new chapter.
When, a goofy, intelligent and sort of self involved, magizoologist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) sets foot in New York 1926, he has a lot to learn about America than just the fact that Muggles (non magic people) are called No Majs. Scamander arrives with a suitcase full of rare magical creatures and is about to set hell loose in the city when he starts to misplace them thanks to an accidental exchange of bags with Non Maj Jacob (Dan Fogler).
Just when Newt’s creatures are on the loose, the city has been threatened by anonymous attacks, causing huge damages in the No Maj world and putting the exposure of the wizarding world at risk.
From unintentionally breaking the law and being caught by investigator Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Newt’s caught up in the havoc.
Amidst this, there are suspicious activities being carried out by MACUSA’s (the American Wizarding Ministry) agent Percival Graves (Collin Farell).
Will Newt find his missing creatures and save the city from them and the dark magic that reckons destruction?
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Review: Script Analysis
The script of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, has been built from J.K. Rowling’s 2001 book by the same name. The book although was a mere textbook that Harry Potter owned, listing magical creatures in the most descriptive manner.
The spin off takes the basis of this book and builds Newt’s (The Author) character in another era and a new setting.
With no Hogwarts and Harry, many may feel lost but five minutes into the movie and you realize that Newt has his own standing too. The British American angle is interesting to see and especially in small scenes like Newt’s instant reaction on hearing about a American wizarding school that Hogwarts remains to be the best wizarding school ever.
What’s great about this film is how it smoothly shifts from being light hearted to dark. This time, even the fantasy word, is riddled with problems of the real world. There is a heavy political influence on this film and it’s quite clear with the underlying themes of the film that deal with racism, anti fascism etc.
Fantastic Beats is occasionally exciting and mostly perfect yet if drawn comparisons to Harry Potter, lacks the strong characters and a sharp dialogue.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Review: Star Performance
Eddie Redmayne is better known for his challenging roles in Theory Of Everything and The Danish Girl. As Newt Scamander, he is extremely charming yet awkward at the same time. Right from his flappy feet walk to the innocent exchange of dialogue with the magical creatures, he seems a tad bit too sweet. Also, it seems that Redmayne has no qualms about the creatures taking the center stage than his character and hence he’s not very commanding in the role but manages to make you smile every now and then.
Katherine Waterston as Tina, an auror with the American ministry of magic gives a rather vanilla performance. Something about her act, lacks the wit and confidence to match up to her character.
Dan Fogler as the American No Maj who wishes to open up a bakery is excellent in his act. He truly entertains us in the dinner table scene with Tina and her sister.
Collin Farell as Percival Graves, the head of magical security tries to pull off a Lucious Malfoy act in the film but doesn’t come even slightly close to it. His demeanor is not striking enough, especially considering the twist that his character has.
Alison Sudol as Tina’s sister Queenie who is a legilimen (mind reader) adds the necessary glamor to the film. Something about her character reminds us of Luna Lovegood.
Ezra Miller gives a brilliant performance as Credence, the child who is being abused at his foster care and has been appointed on a secret task by Graves for his evil good.
Johnny Depp’s cameo as Gellert Grindelwald is truly exciting and leaves us wanting for more. (He will be following up his act in the sequel of the film.)
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Review: Direction, Music
David Yates returns to the Potterverse with this film. After directing the last four films of Harry Potter franchise, Yates has a new one on his hand. Fantastic Beasts is expected to have four more films in the pipeline.
From the sprawling canvas of Hogwarts to a cramped cities like New York and Manhattan, Yates manages to tap rightly into the Amercian living. Although, I would have to mention that the American Ministry Of Magic looks far more boring compared to the British one.
The graphical brilliance of this film simply lies in the carefully crafted creatures that make up for a pleasing watch.
Clever use of shadows in the scenes between Graves and Credence’s meets aptly convey the underlined messages and are significant of the franchise’s adult nature.
The adorable scenes of Nifler (one of the creatures) who is shown to be a kleptomaniac for shiny things are just too cute.
Fantastic Beasts, does tend to get a little slow and chewy in certain portions but you may overlook all that with its CGI brilliance.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Review: The Last Word
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is mostly fantastic thanks to its visual appeal than dialogue. A little dreary because it thrusts muggle problems onto us even in the wizarding world,something which Harry Potter was less synonymous with. I am going with a 3.5/ 5 for this one.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Trailer
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them releases on 18th Nov, 2016.
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