Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Review
The adventures of Newt Scamander as he travels to New York. We see the secret community they have set up for wizards and witches as they try to conceal any magic. Which might be a little bit tricker when some beasts are lost in the city!
We are about the enter the Wizarding world at a very different time, well before Harry Potter and his friends attended Hogwarts and read a book by Newt Scamander which was called ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them’ so we have already heard of both of those. That isn’t the only thing though we do hear a few familiar names which I thought was a great touch as surely some paths would be crossed.
Newt is British of course and has been travelling around the world catching and keeping the fantastic beasts as he wants to attempt to educate his fellow wizards on how great they can really be. This leads him to America and in particular New York, at a time when something strange is happening with a mystery beast or person causing havoc. Obviously his timing is going to mean that he will take the blame when some of the beasts manage to escape from his suitcase. Which is certainly filled to the brim with magic!
I was rather apprehensive about Eddie Redmayne being in the title role as haven’t been a very big fan of his over the years and feel he is very overrated with his mediocre performances. I am therefore happy to say (and admit) that I was very impressed with his portrayal of Newt, it was awkward at times and he showed a great passion for the “beasts” he was so fond of. Struggling to really connect with other people, a very unlikely hero.
Tina a witch is an interesting character as she seems to have gotten herself into trouble and no longer in the same position within the Community but has not stopped doing her job as an Auror. We also meet her sister Queenie who has a boring office job, everything is about to get a little more exciting when Newt arrives. Along with Jacob Kowalski a No-Maj, we know them as Muggles! He plays a huge part in helping Newt and a great friendship is made, but we all know that cannot last forever. That final scene really breaks your heart, I even felt myself filling up which was not something I was expecting.
We get a very strange organisation led by Mary Lou trying to expose Witch craft and rid it from New York. But will people actually believe her? She is known to beat the children she has adopted and it certainly begins to look like one of them may just have magic in them! It is a pretty complex story in terms of what is terrorising New York, but it builds up very nicely and quickly. It is also very difficult to decide if Graves is a good guy or bad guy, as some of his choices really do leave a lot to be desired! Credence Barebone is a very strange young man and that raises a lot of questions into what he is willing to do.
I have to admit that I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the film and story, but I certainly enjoyed every second of being back in a magic world. Think it came at a great timing after seeing “The Cursed Child” play last month! It really is great to see events before Harry Potter and I am guessing somethings that will then put events in motion. This story was set in 1924, so we have plenty more to look forward in the following films. I cannot wait to see which direction J.K. Rowling takes it in and love the small mentions and little links that we will get from them while being blown away by the many different creatures we are going to see!
Will it is not essential to see all of the Harry Potter films before this one, if you are a fan you really love the small links and little things that will make you smile and happy to have more Wizard and Witch stories to take in and enjoy!