Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review: Welcome back to the Wonderful Wizarding World!

After just completing a global expedition to find and document magical creatures, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) enters New York for a brief stopover. His attempt to enter and leave quietly is thwarted when a No-Maj <American term for Muggle> named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) witnesses Newt’s magic. To make matters worse, after having a rather small altercation with Jacob, Newt misplaces his magical case; which eventually led to several of his fantastic beasts escaping. He meets a fellow witch, Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who lends a hand with her sister Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) to find these creatures before they wreak anymore havoc that could possibly unmask the whole Wizarding World to the No-Majs.

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“Hurry, hurry. They may look slow but they are efficient muggle transports that can hit hard.” Source: Heyday Films, Warner Bros.

As a Potterhead, this had been the movie I’ve been anticipating since the announcement. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I had this idea that the plot was going to be based off the accompanying book in the Harry Potter series of the same name. But, with J.K Rowling being the brilliant writer that she is, I knew I was in for another magical ride.

The film wasted no time in introducing Newt to the audience, instantly endearing them to this character. Intricately woven in are the introductions of the different characters, which helped to point out what roles they’re going to play in the plot. However, the film still managed to keep the role of Credence a mystery throughout, only giving the character’s true identity away when the plot calls for it. An otherwise uneasy feat made seamlessly possible by Rowling.

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“Guess what buddy? Plants are cool now!” Source: Heyday Films, Warner Bros.

Aside from the brilliant human characters, the beasts definitely had their fair share of the limelight. Stealing scenes shared with their human counterparts, these beasts easily became characters that audiences felt very strongly for. Perhaps it’s the mannerisms that reminded us of a mischievous pet or the cuddly features, the CGI visualization was absolutely fantastic. Based off the description from the companion book in the Harry Potter series, these creatures are brought to life with such realistic characteristics; it’s hard to forget that they’re not real (or are they?).

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“I just wanted to be a Wizard.” Source: Heyday Films, Warner Bros.

There was definitely no one else who could have contested against Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. His mannerisms and expressions made it easy to instantly love this quirky magizoologist. Fogler’s portrayal as Jacob was also one of my favorites because he basically represents every Potter fan in the world. Though he provided most of the laughs, he still managed to make a good-bye seem so bittersweet. Ezra Miller’s Credence definitely stole the show, proving just how versatile an actor Miller is. Though I know it’s almost impossible to bring his character back, there is still a glimmer of hope for the reprisal of his character.

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“Well, this is a surprise.” Source: Heyday Films, Warner Bros.

As a Potter fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and definitely felt ’em excited tears as the film started. However, my parents, who aren’t well-versed in the Wizarding World didn’t exactly share my enthusiasm. The reason being┬áthe confusion they felt with the climatic scene towards the end of the film. For fans of the series, it was easy to pick up on the dialogues and references from the characters that led to the surprising discovery. Only after my explanation did they finally understand, which made their own understanding a little delayed. So, here’s a tip on how to understand the big reveal at the end: Just pay attention to the news headlines in the beginning of the film.

This was definitely a great way to be welcomed home to the Wizarding World. It has been 5 years since we said good-bye to the trio but now, we’re saying hello to a new era with characters we’ve loved. I’m excited for the upcoming films and cannot thank J.K. Rowling enough for her great imagination. 2016 had been a rather horrid year (in reality),┬ábut it’s comforting to know that we can still escape with magical movies like this.

Rating:

starstarstarstarstar

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