Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

By | Published November 23, 2016

WARNING

Inappropriate Content for Muggles

 

 Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them

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Wizards and witches, prepare your wands because a war is about to begin. Almost 6 years after the last Harry Potter film, the Wizarding world of J.K Rowling comes back to life. A new universe full of wonder and imagination is being introduced to the world. This is the beginning of a new era in the world of magic with a new hero. Another legendary sequel has just begun, 54 years before Harry Potter was born. This time, the story takes place in the United States instead of England. Wizards in the United States are forced to live in the shadows to preserve the secrecy of the magical community, unlike the English Wizards who live side to side with the Muggles.

According to J.K Rowling, the reason for making this film was because, when the Harry Potter sequels came to an end, she realized that there was still a massive hunger for more by her audience. She was always fascinated by the character Newt Scamander and had future plans to write about him. Newt comes from somewhere in her heart, it means something to her. She said “My heroes are always people who feel themselves to be set apart, stigmatized or othered. That’s at the heart of most of what I write and it is certainly at heart of this movie’’. If you have read the Harry Potter books you may recall seeing name of Newt Scamander in the first book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Newt Scamander is the writer of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a book from the Harry’s reading list to study from during his first year in Hogwarts. This is the first screenplay that J.K Rowling has ever written, and once again she displays her extraordinary writing skills, and proves herself as an authentic and gifted storyteller.

The story takes place in New York City, a few years before the Great Depression. The age of jazz, inventions, crime, poverty, racism and segregation. Newt Scamander is an English wizard who arrives in New York, carrying a mysterious case full of magical creatures but unfortunately some of them have escaped. At the same time, New York is in chaos. So much destruction has occurred in the city but since there are no traces; it is impossible to identify the culprit. New Salem Philanthropic Society is determined that behind this chaos, magic is involved – so its aim is to eradicate the magical world. The MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), has a conference to discuss about the unknown dark force that has been terrorizing the city.

So who can possibly be behind all the chaos?

 

Our four main characters meet under unlikely circumstances but decide to stick together in order to find the missing creatures of Newt’s case and discover the unknown dark force to save the city.

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Newt Scamander is a former Hufflepuff student of Hogwarts and a self-proclaimed Magizoologist who visits New York to continue his field work. He has been travelling all over the world, exploring, rehabilitating and collecting rare, exotic and endangered magical beasts as research for his forthcoming book. As a character he is very humble, quirky and slightly awkward when he is around people. The truth, is that he is a man who feels more at home with his creatures than he does with human beings. He is very passionate about his creatures and all he wants is to protect them. Newt’s dream is to educate the magical and the non-magical community about the existence of these magical creatures and show them how harmless they are. With a proper education they could learn to live among them and appreciate their uniqueness. Newt always carries his fantastic beasts in his brown leather case. When the case’s lock is set to ‘’Muggle Worthy’’ and you open it, everything seems completely normal. You can find socks, a toothpaste and other personal items of a traveler. If you flip the lock to ‘’Unlocked’’, you will notice a long staircase that takes you to a whole different world. You will find yourself in a world full of magical beasts living in different habitants. This is how Newt both protects his beasts from the world, and studies them.

Jacob Kowalski is the first muggle protagonist in J.K Rowling’s universe. He returned to the United States after serving in World War I and his occupation is a worker in a canning factory. His dream is to get a loan from the bank and open his own bakery with his grandma’s recipes. He is very delightful, optimistic and he always seeks for an adventure. Newt and Jacob, 2 men from different worlds, with nothing in common develop a friendship through their adventure. Jacob teaches him how to communicate with people while Newt introduces him to his magical creatures. Jacob becomes fascinated with the world of magic that never thought existed and wishes he was a wizard.

Porpentina Goldstein is a half blooded witch who works at the MACUSA. She used to be an Auror but she was recently demoted because of an infraction that resulted in her exposure as a witch to a No-Maj (Muggle). The reason she violated the rules was because she wanted to help someone and that is why MACUSA demoted her and moved her to the wand permit office. She is a bit of a loner and underappreciated. She works hard and believes that she has potential to achieve greatness and tries to make people see this about her.

Queenie Goldstein is Porpentina’s younger sister. She works at the MACUSA in the wand permit office, just like her sister but does not take her job too seriously. She is a Legilimens which means she has a strong instinct as she has powerful mind reading skills and can listen to people’s thoughts. Queenie is very friendly and has a great youthful spirit. She is also very warm hearted, kind, perceptive and can be very playful.

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When I saw the film, I was so fascinated and moved at the same time because I grew up watching the Harry Potter sequels and it made me feel the exact same way after so many years. For a few hours, you have the opportunity to forget all about reality and be a part of a world where magic is real. It is amazing how fans can instantly connect to the characters and become part of their magical world. Indeed, J.K Rowling must be using some sort of magic because after all the special gifts she gave us through the years (including the 8 books and the 8 films of Harry Potter), she still has the ability to produce original work. She is without a doubt one of the greatest writers in history and her work will remain alive for many generations to come. She is a source of endless ideas and imagination, a living legend. Just by putting her thoughts on a piece of paper, she can turn them into stories who can deeply affect people’s lives. David Yates, the director of the film really did a fantastic job as well. When he was asked to direct the film he was not sure if he was ready to return to the magical world after directing the last 4 Harry Potter films. When he read the screenplay, he was so enchanted by it and without even thinking he accepted the offer to direct it and the results were unbelievable. What can I say about the 34 year old Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne…I just fell in love with his character. His acting was outstanding and he left me spellbound. He had all the package to make the perfect Newt Scamander. I could not possibly think of anyone else that could adapt the role of Newt better than Eddie. He is very charming as person and brought a lot of sensitivity to Newt’s character which was essential. I am really looking forward to the next films with an insane amount of excitement!

 

Wizards and witches, lets raise our wands in the air to celebrate a new era of magic and be grateful for everything that is yet to come in a magical journey that’s just begun.