J.K. Rowling’s tremendous screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is a Gryffindor in a world of Slytherins.
“Fantastic Beasts” is the ninth film installment in Rowling’s Wizarding World.
The film is based on a book of the same title (published in 2001). Fans might recognize the title because it was mentioned in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” as one of Harry’s first-year textbooks for Hogwarts.
Eddie Redmayne, an Oscar award-winning actor and the owner of many girls’ hearts, stars as English wizard Newt Scamander—a man on a mission in 1926 New York. He’s traveling the world to find and document fantastic beasts.
Upon arriving in the Big Apple, Newt has a mix-up with No-Maj (a Muggle, or non-magic person) Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and ex-auror (a sort of policewoman in the magic realm) Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston).
The chemistry between Redmayne, Fogler and Goldstein is obvious as the characters’ trio attempt to save the city in classic Rowling-fashion.
All aspects of excellent filmmaking came together in “Fantastic Beasts” to create a whirlwind of a movie. It’s almost impossible to tell that New York wasn’t actually destroyed by magical creatures because of the convincing special effects.
The film is similar enough to the “Harry Potter” series to make it feel like “home.” The cinematography has the same overall look as the last few films in the “Harry Potter” series, though “Fantastic Beasts” leaves a more sophisticated impression. There are little to no similarities between Newt and Harry, which is what this franchise needed for success.
As someone who listens to the Harry Potter movies soundtracks daily, I appreciated the use of “Hedwig’s Theme,” the iconic song used in the beginning of each movie.
“Fantastic Beasts” has the potential to reach an audience beyond the already dedicated Harry Potter fans.
I had extremely high expectations before seeing the movie, and was not disappointed once. The new spin-off is promising and with at least two other films coming (Nov. 16, 2018 & Nov. 20, 2019), Potter fans everywhere should prepare themselves for another story that will touch their hearts.