“Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” Review

 

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Witness the magic of J.K. Rowling’s world of “Harry Potter” once more in “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” The film stars Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables,” “The Theory of Everything” and “The Danish Girl”) as Newt, Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs”) as Tina, Alison Sudol as Queenie, Dan Fogler as Kowalski and Colin Ferrell as Graves. The movie is Rowling’s screen writing debut and was directed by David Yates.

Taking place before the events of the original “Harry Potter” stories, “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” revolves around Newt Scamander, a wizard from London who sets sail to America with a suitcase full of magical creatures. Chaos ensues when some of Newt’s animals escape and magic is on the verge of being exposed to “No-majs” (non-magical people).

Eddie Redmayne was amazing as Newt. He did a great job portraying the character as a shy and somewhat reserved man, but it was very clear how much he loved and cared about his creatures. Newt is one of the best heroes in the “Harry Potter” universe, because not only is he relatable, he has a good heart.

Dan Fogler did a great job as Jacob Kowalski, a No-maj who gets thrown into the magical world he never knew existed and becomes friends with Newt. Kowalski was a perfect new character for the “Harry Potter” universe. He is funny, smart and Fogler portrayed him wonderfully as man in awe of everything involving magic. We were all Jacob at one point, even Harry Potter himself.

Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol were great as the two sisters Tina and Queenie. Tina was the introduction to the American wizard world and explains the laws to Newt. She is stern and obeys the wizard laws, but is also compassionate.  Queenie is Tina’s sister, who is quick to befriend Newt and Jacob and is more carefree. Waterston and Sudol did a great job playing two different characters who balance each other out.

Colin Ferrell did a good job as Graves, an Auror who is in charge of finding the magical creatures and arresting Newt for releasing them. All the while he is trying to protect wizards and the world of magic from being discovered by No-majs.

The best thing about “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” is the audience does not have to see the “Harry Potter” films or have read the books to understand what is happening. This film is it’s own separate story with a different setting and new phrases. J.K. Rowling did a great job introducing fans and non-fans to America’s world of magic.

Unlike most of my friends, I did not grow up reading “Harry Potter” or watching the films. When I finally read the first book it did not take long for me to start the second and so on. Once I finished all seven novels I watched the movies on DVD and like most people I know, I was very excited when the script for the West End production of “Cursed Child” was released in book form.

Going to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”in theaters  was a whole new experience for me because I finally understood the hype. What made it even better was I got to watch it with my best friend who loves that I became a “Harry Potter” fan.

“Fantastic Beasts” is something new that still gives the feeling that we (the fans) are watching a story from the “Harry Potter” universe. Since the setting is in America, we are learning new phrases, seeing what the American wizard world is like and are introduced to new characters. It is a great spin-off, with a phenomenal cast and I, like many others, am anxiously waiting for the sequel.