By Joshua Christensen
The lastest movie from fantasy writer JK Rowling, “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” was released on November 18 as the first installment in the continuation of the wizarding world.
Rowling’s stories have been adapted to movies since “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001. Warner Bros and Rowling have steadily distributed movies of the original books people love. Now with the Harry Potter series complete, Warner Bros looks to further expand the wizarding world with Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, in this new film directed by David Yates.
Redmayne does an superb job acting the somewhat awkward, but brilliant Newt Scamander. Dan Fogler performs as humorous Jacob Kowalski. He genuinely portrays the wonder that a regular person would show when exposed to the magical community.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The most interesting part is that it is set in America. Newt Scamander stops in New York City on his way to Arizona with a case full of magical creatures. Scamander meets Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (non-magical person). When Kowalski accidentally grabs Scamander’s magical suitcase, he runs off to his apartment where, in a very cliche way, several different beasts escape.
The CGI crew does an excellent job creating realistic magic when Scamander and Kowalski meet Tina Goldstein and Queenie Goldstein with flying food preparation in Tina Goldstein’s apartment. After dinner and cup of cocoa, Scamander invites Kowalski into his suitcase where he shows him different creatures and asks for his help in recovering the lost beasts. They track down two of the four beasts relatively quickly.
Director David Yates also creates a very interesting story with many dark and dangerous scenes. For example, while Scamander and Kowalski are in the case, Tina Goldstein takes it to the MACUSA, the magical congress of the USA. Scamander and Goldstein are unjustly sentenced to death by Percival Graves, but luckily they escape. After meeting up again with Queenie Goldstein and Kowalski to find the last creatures, in a mind-blowing display of ingenuity, they trap the final creature in a teapot by luring it in with a cockroach. Credence Barebones, a wizard forced to conceal his magic for too long, enraged releases his Obscurus-a dark cloud that erupts when emotionally angry or distressed-accidentally causing severe damage. Against Scamander’s and Grave’s requests, in a three-way epic battle of wills, Credence is destroyed. MACUSA and Scamander capture Graves and discover that he is the infamous Grindelwald.
The movie has good flow and doesn’t have jumps or breaks in the logical order of events. Yates also brilliantly directed the last four Harry Potter Movies.
Although the movie was a bit predictable, with some viewers calling Graves’s reveal before the hour mark, it was still very entertaining and amusing to watch. The movie really helps explain magic in the United States and expands the world of Harry Potter even further.
The movie should’ve taken place during or after “The Cursed Child” as to keep the viewers guessing about the final endings of the five movies. In an intelligent move by the director, the next movie is rumored to take place in Paris, France, to garner more interests in more areas.