Monday, 28 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - review


                               CAUTION: Contains spoilers 

Way back in 2001, eight months before the first Harry Potter film was launched (Philosopher's Stone)  J.K. Rowling published two spin-off books; Quidditch Through The Ages, and most pertinent at this moment, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Its royalties going to Comic Relief, Fantastic Beasts was a breezy tour of the magical animal kingdom in the form of a Hogwarts textbook owned by Harry Potter, written by Newt Scamander, with some scribbles in it from some familiar characters ("Write on your own book, Hermione").

There has been a large 'Harry Potter' shaped hole in our lives since the last film (Deathly Hallows Part 2) was released a few years back, in the mid-summer heat of July 2011. 
So can Fantastic Beasts fill that hole? And what has changed in the wizarding world?
Well, for one thing, the hero this time round is not a schoolboy, but an adult. 

Ah yes, the hero.

Newton "Newt" Artemis Fido Scamander is a young man who, in the film was expelled from Hogwarts for putting another pupil in danger - although a teacher by the name of Albus Dumbledore strongly argued against this expulsion. The protagonist is portrayed rather brilliantly (in my opinion) by Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and a British Academy Film Award. In 2015 he was also appointed an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services in drama.    

 Courtesy of the Mirror                                                                                                                                            Courtesy of Warner Bros

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is set in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident… if were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob Kowalski, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

I personally found the film to be extremely enjoyable, going from humorous to foreboding in an instant. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys mystery and magic, and the wonderful thing is you can go into the cinema thinking "Harry Who?" and still enjoy this film as much as a Potter-head would. 

                                                    Courtesy of Pottermore