Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them


Director: David Yates

Screenplay: J.K. Rowling

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Don Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller,
Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo Ron Perlman, Colin Farrell

Genre: Fantasy, Action

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 133 minutes

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: November 18, 2016

Based on: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Synopsis: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Rating: 4/5

My Review

Potterheads around the globe rejoiced when news spread out that an extension to the Harry Potter Universe was on the works and when it finally premiered last November 2016, excitement filled every blood of die-hard Harry Potter fans (including me) for we have survived five years of Harry Potter movie deprivation.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is the debut screenplay for J.K. Rowling. The movie is not based on any major novel and it does not revolve around our golden boy; the boy who lived, Harry Potter. Instead, this movie focuses on Newt Scamander, a  well renowned magizoologist and author.

As Hedwig’s theme played at the very beginning of the film, nostalgia instantly hit me. It reminded me of the euphoria it brought me during the earlier films of Harry Potter and the chills that sent shivers down my spine during the last few dark atmospheric films of the franchise. The music transitioned into an original score for the Fantastic Beasts franchise. It’s something new and pleasing to hear; it makes me want to jump into action and join our heroes in their adventures in New York City.

It’s nice to see America, specifically, New York and its hidden wizarding communities during the 1920’s. It’s great to have another view of the Harry Potter Universe from a different continent and a different timeline.

Newt Scamander, is timid and shy around people and Eddie Redmayne perfectly played the role. I read that he intentionally flopped his audition as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens  just to get the role of Newt Scamander not knowing that the producers of the film only have him in mind. Though I was a bit confused because news circulated that it was down to Nicholas Hoult and Eddie Redmayne for the role Newt Scamander–and of course, as obvious it is, the role went to academy winner, Mr. Redmayne.

It’s truly amazing that Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller has both worked with Emma Watson—Redmayne in My Week with Marilyn and Miller in The Perks of being a Wallflower. Emma must be so proud to have these two as an addition to the Harry Potter Universe Film franchise.

Speaking of Ezra Miller, let us all applause for his wonderful performance as Credence. It is very different from other roles he has played like Patrick in Perks of being a Wallflower and Barry Allen/The Flash in DC’s Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League. He truly is an amazing versatile actor. I really hope we get to see more of him in the franchise though I think he survived as we saw a part of the obscurus flying away from the crowd with no one but Newt Scamander’s eyes on it. I really want to see more of Credence and how his character will develop.

I am so glad to have Johnny Depp play the role of young Gellert Grindelwald. I am a big fan of Mr. Depp and him, being a new addition to the wonderful and talented cast of the Harry Potter universe makes me jubilant. I look forward for more of his upcoming performance as Grindelwald. Big names have been casted into this movie and I knew Fantastic Beasts would be a big hit.

Almost every movie has an aspect of romance thrown in the plot and Newtina, the ship name for Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein,  is another addition to my book of ships. I like how JK Rowling wasn’t pushing this ship down our throats, it was more like two characters slowly developing their friendship and we have four movies to see this relationship grow. Newt and Tina’s first meeting wasn’t love at first sight, in fact it wasn’t amicable at all. It started when Newt accidentally hit Tina in the crowd of Mary Lou Barebone’s rally against witches in front of Steen National Bank and this ended up with Tina taking Newt to MACUSA upon realizing the creatures that lives in Newt’s suitcase and using magic and apparition with a No-maj named Jacob Kowalski and didn’t bother obliviating him. Their bond grew as the two tracked down all the creatures that escaped from Scamander’s suticase.

Let’s not forget about Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein. Their sweet and cute love story defies the diversity between magical born and No-Maj’s. It must be down hearting to have the greatest adventure of your life full of magic and discovery to be erased just because of a law. I was hoping Kowalski’s memories would resurface and come back as soon as his eyes landed on Queenie..and that smile Kowalksi had on his face before the screen turns black makes excited for the second film.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them gave us a different vibe from Harry Potter. This story avoided the ‘chosen one’ stereotype of character. It is centered around adults instead of teenagers, I guess this is one way of showing that the characters of Ms. Rowling’s works are also growing up with us, the fan base.

This movie franchise is very exciting and tickles my curiosity for it is not based on major novels—I have no idea of the whole plot for the five movies, I guess we’ll all just be surprised when all remaining four films comes out.

Filming for the sequel of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them begins this August 2017 and is set to premiere on November 2018.

Oh, and Congratulations to us, the Harry Potter fandom, we just won our very first Oscar–of course, it is all thanks to the talented Colleen Atwell for her marvelous designs that earned her an academy award for best costume design in a film.


2 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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