I love the world J. K. Rowling created and so do millions of other people. Therefore, it was the least they could do to create another film based within the wizarding world. A similar thing happened with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s initial trilogy was so well received that they created three more films based on another one of Tolkein’s novels. Fortunately, unlike The Hobbit, David Yate’s latest film isn’t a letdown. In fact, there are some aspects that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually superior to the previous Harry Potter films.
The film’s protagonist is the likeable and geeky Newt (Eddie Redmayne). The Brit has spent his adult years studying and collecting magical creatures. It is this career that leads him to New York in 1926 as he seeks to further his knowledge in the field. However, New York is in a state of unrest. Some no-majs (America’s term for muggles) are catching onto the fact that there may be magical people and creatures amongst them. New York’s magical community are well aware of this unrest and to make matters worse, the dark wizard Grindlewald is on the loose and no one has been able to locate him.
Due to a few unfortunate mishaps, Newt ends up loosing his briefcase. This would usually be an inconvenience to the normal person, but this wizard is transporting very precious and mischievous cargo who have a habit of escaping. What ensues next is Newt chasing his escaped magical creatures around New York. He does so with the help of Jacob (Dan Fogler), a no-maj, Tina (Katherine Waterstone), a demoted Auror and Queenie (Fine Frenzy) Tina’s mind-reading sister. However, there is something other than Newt’s creatures on the loose that is terrorising no-majs and wizards alike. It is up to these unlikely heroes to solve the mystery and save the day.
After talking to a few other people, they voiced their opinions that the storyline itself wasn’t great. I don’t think this is really the case, the problem is that it is so easy to compare this film to the Harry Potter series. The stories that made Rowling famous were rich and fantastic in both depth and story, to compare Fantastic Beasts in this way is unfair. However, if you look at the film and its storyline as a stand alone, you realise it was fun, sad and very compelling.
If we must compare Fantastic Beasts to the Harry Potter films, then we must also note the improvements! For one thing, CGI has evolved a lot in such a short space of time. The fantastic beasts really do look fantastic, and often really adorable and funny. Another improvement I would like to point out, albeit quietly, is that the acting is better in these films. Eddie Redmayne puts in a believable performance that leaves you really engaging with the character’s passion magical creatures. Also, Ezra Miller, who plays a troubled child named Credence, puts in a harrowing performance of an abused and neglected child. I swanned through the film never noticing any awkward moments of acting that was sometimes the case in the first few Harry Potter films.
All comparisons aside, you should watch this film as something in its own right. It is charming as often as it is exciting. However, if you are wanting to delve into the wizarding world once more, then look no further. Magic is flying left, right and centre and the amount of glorious fantastic creatures we are introduced to leaves your thirst for the wizarding world well and truly quenched. Watch it on the big screen in order to truly appreciate what you are seeing.