Magic wands at the ready, because the Harry Potter-verse is back on our screens again, this time in the form of ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.’ As a prequel of sorts, the film tells the story of how the Hogwarts textbook of the same name came to be written. From flying snakes to a gigantic rhinoceros destroying Central Park, this action packed spin-off is chock-full of witchcraft, wizardry and all things magical.
In JK Rowling’s first film as screenwriter we follow the adventures of British wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who turns up in bustling 1920s New York, carrying with him only a suitcase. It is here that he meets unlikely accomplice and no-maj (or muggle) Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler. Redmayne brings a shy yet quirky charm to the role of Newt, delivering most of his lines from behind his sweeping fringe and causing many a movie-goer to fall in love with sweet vulnerability.
When a somewhat predictable suitcase-swap thrusts the two characters together, the pair have to race against time to gather up a number of weird and wonderful creatures (all of which are visually excellent), let loose onto the streets of Manhattan. With the help of police-witch Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her blonde bombshell sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), they go on the hunt for: an enormous rhino type beast, called an Erumpent, a Demiguise – which is essentially an invisible sloth, an Occamy – which looks like a cross between bird and a dragon, and a kleptomaniac duck-billed platypus/mole hybrid named Niffler. The run-away creatures are the least of the group’s worries as darker powers wreak havoc across the city.
Despite making a few nods to the original Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts steps far away from the shadowy school corridors of Hogwarts. Instead, the audience are treated to scenes of dazzling skyscrapers, and the unflattering black robes are replaced with brightly coloured bow ties and sparkling flapper dresses. It is overall an aesthetically beautiful film that will keep audiences hooked from start to finish.
Have you seen Fantastic Beasts? What were your thoughts? Leave us a comment with what you did/didn’t like about it!