Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Film Review

by Damyana Bozhinova

Photo Credit: Fuse

Once again, J.K Rowling has accio’d magic into our lives and, if you still haven’t seen the movie, you’d better apparate yourself over to the cinema as soon as possible to avoid missing this wonderful wizarding treat.

The story, set in 1926 New York City, focusses on a series of murders which are associated with an extremely dangerous, yet, undeniably fantastic, creature – an Obscurus. At the New York headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), wizards are working to protect the magical community from being exposed. Meanwhile, awkward and shy wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) comes to New York City on his way to Arizona clutching a suitcase filled to the brim with unique and endangered magical creatures. From the moment of his arrival, he falls into a series of ridiculous incidents as he befriends a muggle (or as the American’s call it – ‘a No-Maj’), a demoted Magical Congress worker (Katherine Waterston), and her sister (Alison Sudol). Though Fantastic Beasts hasn’t got a complex narrative arc to rival its predecessors in the Harry Potter series, the movie provides some interesting insights into the history of the magical world which most of us have grown up with.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them exceeds expectations with its delivery of plot twists and its combination of both the old and the new. We are introduced to some less-familiar faces, with actors such as Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol taking the leads, alongside the star studded Jon Voight, Colin Farrell and, our personal favourite, Johnny Depp. With our beloved spells and creatures making a reappearance, we are also introduced to some new ones: including Niffler (a platypus-like animal who is constantly attracted to shiny objects) and a Bowtruckle (a mixture of a praying mantis and a stick insect) named Pickett who is very attached to Newt. Though we follow a new protagonist in this movie, he has connections to Hogwarts and Dumbledore, giving an essence of what we know as we experience this exciting new world of magic alongside Newt.

It feels like a long wait for many fans of ‘the boy who lived’ and some people have been prepared to be disappointed (some critics have labelled the movie as being less appealing because of its loss of its British grounding) but the movie is just as good as expected, if not better. It has made a staggering £175 million at the box office and if that doesn’t, finally, convince you to go and see it then the exciting and promising story line should. With promises of another four movies to come in this series, why would you want to miss out.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not only a trip back down memory lane for those of us who access our inner child through our re-watching of the Harry Potter series, but it also makes this fantastical world accessible for a new audience. It ignites the magic for a new generation and will hopefully become something that they will cherish just as much as we do.