Saturday, 11 March 2017

''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' (2016 movie)- Review

Directed by: David Yates
Released: 2016
Country: United Kingdom, United States

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Ah, what a wonderful treat for a Potterhead like me! Being someone who literally grew up with Harry Potter, it is always delightful for me to find anything- anything- that somehow relates to the Harry Potter universe. ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' is, in that sense, perfect. It is a prequel to the Harry Potter series and has a screenplay written by none other than the great J. K. Rowling herself. I loved the film and cannot wait for the subsequent sequels!

Set in the 1920s, film basically revolves around Newt Schamander (played by the great Eddie Redmayne) who is an English wizard who loves magical creatures and beasts, collecting and rescuing them and in doing so, he saves them from extinction. He comes to New York, bringing with him only a suitcase which is filled with magical creatures (in fact, with the use of magic, he has created a little world for his creatures inside the suitcase, a world that we eventually get to know about over the course of the film). He comes across a Muggle, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and is, for some inevitable reasons, compelled to perform magic in front of him. This is, however, witnessed by Porpentina 'Tina' (Katherine Waterston), who works for the ministry and is shocked to see magic being performed in front of Muggle (Muggles are called 'No-Maj' in America). Things get worse when it is discovered that Newt's suitcase has been exchanged with that of Jacob and Tina and Newt are compelled to track Jacob down. 

On the other hand, havoc is being created throughout the city. The Ministry believes that it is being caused by none other than the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. However, when word gets out that Newt has brought with him a suitcase where dangerous creatures reside, the Ministry start suspecting that it might be Newt who is responsible for the havoc- an accusation that is baseless. But what is actually happening in the city? Who is actually responsible for all the attacks? How are the troubles being caused? 

There are many things in this film that remind us of the fact that it is the prequel to the Harry Potter series. The film starts with our beloved ''Hedwig's Theme''. Spells that we had encountered in the Harry Potter series (like 'Alohomora' and 'Petrificus Totalus') are here in the film. It was like being transported to those days again, when we would wait for the next Harry Potter film and all the familiar things, the familiar spells would charm us. The film made me really nostalgic, it really did.

The film has a wonderful atmosphere, and the fantastic elements really impressed me (the safe haven that Newt has created for his creatures inside his suitcase is really impressive. It is so beautiful). Other than that, the story itself is really wonderful, full of twists and turns. The four major characters (Newt, Jacob, Tina and Queenie, Tina's sister) are really, really amazing and the roles are really well-acted. I hope we see more of them in the upcoming sequels!  I really started caring for these four characters, they are well-written and fleshed out! J. K. Rowling's screenplay is excellent: she did it again, transporting us back to the amazing fictional universe that she created all those years ago and had made us fall in love with! And this time, too, she introduces such amazing characters that we cannot but admire them, care for them. I would recommend this film not just to Potterheads but also to those who love fantasy and adventure, to those who appreciate an excellent screenplay, to those who love characters with depth, and to those who love great, unpredictable stories!  

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