Story by Megan Sarnacki, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Twitter
Based on the fantasy fiction novel from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World comes the first installment of a projected five film series.
David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, returns to direct Rowling’s screenplay debut, along with James Newton Howard composing the score.This spin-off/prequel also stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, and Johnny Depp. Not only is “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” a thrilling and lively film full of adventure, but it also has numerous comedic and romantic moments that cause the audience to laugh and swoon.
In 1926, Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York City with a suitcase full of magical creatures. Although his plan is to go to Arizona, he mistakenly swaps suitcases with Jacob Kowalski, a “no-maj,” the American term for “muggle.” Trouble ensues when magical beasts are unleashed and Newt must set off with the help of Kowalski and sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein to catch them all before it is too late. However, America proves to be a much more dangerous place for wizards and witches with the dark wizard Grindelwald missing, a mysterious dark force destroying the city, and a prejudice movement led by Mary Lou Barebone, the head of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, whose mission is to eradicate all wizards and witches.
With the magnificent and enchanting score and visual effects, viewers are immersed in the film and transported back into the magical world they know and love about Harry Potter. While Eddie Redmayne gives viewers a shy, insular, and lovable performance that made girls giggle and squeal in the audience, Dan Fogler’s funny and charming character is especially enjoyable as Redmayne’s friend and companion. Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller also fit their characters perfectly and give fantastic and chilling performances.
Because this film is a fast-paced, non-stop adventure full of twists and turns, it does not leave a ton of room to explain all of the characters’ backstories that viewers may be craving for; however, since it is the first film out of five, there are several more opportunities for viewers to connect and learn about these characters further in depth.
Harry Potter fans will enjoy this film not only because J.K. Rowling has added onto this spectacular magical world she has created, but also because they may recognize references to the Harry Potter series, which give clues to what the future films will include. Even non-Harry Potter fans or newcomers can be entertained by this adventure because there are so many hilarious, frightening, sad, and lovable moments that make this film so interesting. Furthermore, this film also deals with important issues, such as child abuse and bigotry, that add dramatic and vivid suspense and tension to the story.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will surely be an exciting and magical cinematic experience for Harry Potter fans and novices alike. Audience members will feel all sorts of various emotions during the film and be left wanting more when the credits roll. It will also cause anticipation and interest about the next four upcoming films, which are set to span a nearly twenty-year period and connect characters and events from the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter series.