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[Review] – ‘Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them’

 
 
Overview
 

Release Date: 18 November 2016 [USA]
 
Director: David Yates
 
Writer: J.K. Rowling
 
Cast: Eddie Redmayne - Katherine Waterston - Alison Sudol
 


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Posted November 27, 2016 by

 
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Review:

That awkward moment when you’re glad Warner Bros decided to milk one of the biggest franchises of all time.

World Renowned (and part time being richer than the Queen of England) author J. K Rowling couldn’t have given us the famous Harry Potter at a more fitting time in our lives. From a declined manuscript to one of the world’s greatest book and movies series of all time, we 90’s kids have seen it all since 1997.

For a while, we all thought we moved onto newer things like a renewed Star Wars film series and the superhero era. And yet we found ourselves sipping butterbeer from the leaky cauldron and buying sweets from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios up in Orlando. So much for moving on.

So if for some unapparent reason you still think we are done with that magical world, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is here prove you otherwise.

Taking on the same name of the book that was mentioned in the Harry Potter series, this spin-off is similar to its predecessors, or rather successors and does much more! Unlike other follow ups, it goes back in time, presenting to us a new (or rather old) set of heroes to lead the way. Introductions are always exciting and we are new to the world of the famous wizard, Newt Scamander.

Oscar worthy Eddie Redmayne brings to life the peculiarly shy blue-eyed man, who has got more tricks up his sleeve, or rather his suitcase. Talk about a bag full of tricks. While others find acceptance in a social setting, young Scamander finds it in his book and the beasts which he finds quite fantastic. With the United States being the forefront for every visionary, the lovable brit finds himself on that side of the world, all the way back in 1926.

This new world is a synchronized blend of the fantasy world and a normal, everyday oldies set up, which I most certainly did not expect. The familiar world we all love blends in with the crowd effortlessly, or perhaps that’s the way was is in America? With magical tricks and wand flicks that are far more confident, the film builds up on the previously established foundation, exploring avenues that have never been seen before, both literally and figuratively speaking. A hidden Scottish bar lookalike, mafia goblins and a wizard president, oh Rowling knows how to spoil us.

It really does seem like one goes a long way with friends by their side, especially in these films. An unexpected trail of events leads Scamander to cross paths with ex Auror Tina Goldstein (who is quite the halfwit on most occasions) and the lovable muggle, (Americans refer to as no-maj) Jacob Kowalski. Together, they move around New York to find what has escaped the mysterious suitcase.

You probably are wondering, how could it get any better than the mesmerizing Potter films we have watched over eight whole years? Well, it does, and that’s the difficult part to comprehend.

David Yates was one of us, having thought he had moved on. He went back to filmmaking after a silent slumber with the latest installment in Tarzan’s life up on the big screen The Legend of Tarzan. Needless to say, the movie spoke volumes that sounded like, “I want to play with magic, not apes” and comes back to do just that.

The real magic in this film lies within its quietest moments. Gleeful stares and glimpses between what appears to be a lovely cast filled with both A list actors and new faces, leaving you developing quite a connection with them by the end of it all.

Ever since the likes of James Cameron’s Avatar, never has the use of interactive CGI proven to be a film’s most strongest suit. While I’m sure you can name quite a few on that level since the 2009 film, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them finds true beauty and joy with everyone’s reactions, particularly Scamander’s and his beasts.

It doesn’t go unnoticed that J. K Rowling touches up on some thoughtful issues through her characters once again. She continues igniting her moral flare through her writing by slipping in the struggles of being accepted and the disastrous outcomes of false hopes, which almost seem immediately clear, just like before. Bother Potter fans and muggles will hopefully find some of these issues battled by these wonderful characters quite relatable.

Yates is a true visionary and chooses to show it off this time around. Merging James Howard’s stunning score, the films is a curtain-raiser for the deep end of the wizarding world. He assertively chooses not shy away from letting certain sequences have more breathing space than required for us to develop an attachment to what’s in front of us at any given point.

While the film is about Newt Scamander and his fantastic beasts, an alternate story runs parallel to this one, one which revolves around the notorious Grinelwald, who will surely bring more chaos in the following films to come (you Potter fans know what I’m talking about).

Using muggle words, David Yates has finally managed to raise eyebrows, and bears the torch after the likes of Alphonso Cauron who directed the delightful Harry Potter And The Prizoner of Azkaban. And who would’ve thought it would only take him four films. With this film, its expansion doesn’t rely on previous material, but manages to stand by itself with its own terms and rules. Proving to be the most visually enchanting experience of them all, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them will be enjoyed by people of all ages. We can surely welcome with open arms wide this new, enthralling chapter and the few that will come in the next couple of years. A well deserved pat on the back for David Yates is in order, he deserves it.

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