Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them is a new film set in the Harry Potter universe. The film comes directed by Davide Yates who some may know as the director of many of the original Harry Potter films in the franchise. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler.
It’s been so long time since I’ve had a Harry Potter type experience at the cinema. When I was growing up, it seemed like practically every year I would go to my nearest cinema with a bunch of my school friends and see what happened to Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts that year. Being around the same age as Harry Potter during those years made the experience extra special as it kind of felt that I grew up with the characters as well. A large gap was left in my life when the series ended. But we now have this film, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. Would it fill that gap?
I’d have to say, probably it does a bit. While nothing being made will probably match the magic of Harry Potter I felt when I was a kid, this film helps me and hopefully other fans to have the opportunity to experience a story from the universe of witchcraft and wizardry we all grew up with. This story isn’t about a bunch of kids going to school, instead it’s about one of the wizards who wrote one of the textbooks at Hogwarts, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). As it is based on someone in the past, the film is set in the 1920’s in New York, just before the great depression.
Newt Scamander is sort of an exotic animal collector, he’s got a magical suitcase that is bigger on the inside, much like Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Inside here he keeps magical creatures, somehow though, they’ve all escaped and are scattered all over New York. Newt and couple of his buddies have got to collect them all before the ordinary non magic citizens find out (the muggles). All is going alright, but there’s also some villain wandering around the place killing people and doing bad stuff, will Newt and his buddies be able to stop it?
That’s all I’m going to go into with the plot. It’s fairly good for the most part and for much of the film, I felt in awe for the nostalgia of it all. The beginning though is probably the worst part of the film though, it’s all about catching animals and looking at fantastic creatures, it’s not so interesting, unless you do really like seeing that. But the films slow start makes up for it once the villain and some complications are thrown in. There’s also a look at the way the witches and wizards are governed in New York at the time and a couple scenes with their president. It’s all very interesting for those who love all the lore that comes with the Harry Potter universe.
The actors are all quite good. I enjoyed watching pretty much everyone in the film and thought that no one appeared to be miscast at all. Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler were a joy to watch and hopefully many of them appear in the upcoming films for this revived franchise.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience that Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them offered. It gave me a decent mix of nostalgia, with enough of something new to make it a great time at the cinema. While the movie isn’t particularly perfect, as a fan of Harry Potter and the franchise, I felt more than satisfied with this and can’t recommend it more to the fans. It’s been a long time since I had so much fun at the cinema and this one gave me the same sort of feeling I used to have back when I was in school. I am so excited to see what comes next with this series.