The movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a great fit when comparing it to other works by J. K. Rowling, even though the film has a unique story of its own.
To the Potterverse, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is the textbook author mentioned briefly that is titled the name of the film. It is 1926 and he arrives in New York City on an important mission with a huge suitcase. A number of magical creatures and fantastic beasts are in the briefcase Newt carries; he is a magizoologist. There is a plan to return one to its American natural habitat.
People who don’t like magic are holding protests in the streets. There is a missing evil wizard, Gellert Grindelwald as the magical world goes through tough times. Newt teams up with an assortment of characters including the former Auror Tine Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), Queenie her sister the mind reader (Allison Sudol), and Muggie aka No-Mag Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger).
Rowling wrote the script
The film is Rowling debut as a screenwriter (the story is written by her). The story is dense and rich with elements of a juicy novel. The characters are full of quirks, magic spells, use familiar vocab and are playful with a magic political structure seen as complex in nature. In this case, it is known as the Magical Congress of the United States of America, or the MACUSA.
The setting of New York City during the 1920s is the feel throughout the film. A studio in London recreated the setting. There is room for the film to exhale because it doesn’t have a location that is closed in. Meaning, the setting expands anywhere from the magic briefcase of Newt to the subway or city streets.
David Yates, a film director who has directed other Potter films, had the challenging task of creating an appeal fans can relate to while not feeling like another Harry Potter installment. The “Fantastic Beast” is working on being its own franchise with possibly five installments in the future. This offers terror and wonder on a different level while using the real world as its primary setting.
The cast is great
The cast is perfect and this is not a surprise but more likely expected since the “Potter” films have featured exceptional U.K actors. Daniel Radcliffe has a charm that is seen somewhat in the character of Newt. A special care for animals that is genuine is felt from Redmayne. Lovable, kind and funny, is the character of Fogler’s Jacob also seen as the film’s comedy relief. This character, in particular, seems the best type created by Rowling that some see as her signature. Queenie has a sweet innocence many can admire.
The fantastic beasts are last but not least. They are small and large creatures that are troublemakers to majestic. They are an important part of the plot. The film goes above and beyond with animal life which is something different from the “Potter” films. Most of the creatures are handled quite well even the most bizarre animals. It shows the film production has a skillful crew that works with them.
Play tickets for shows such as “Hamilton” or “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” are a challenge to get your hands on since they are bestsellers. “The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has something for everyone who likes this genre. It is a magical yet refreshing start for a new franchise that looks promising.