‘Fantastic Beasts’ review: A Warm Welcome Back to the Wizarding World

Nov 30, 2016 by     No Comments    Posted under: Entertainment, General, Screenplay

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We are back, fellow Potterheads. Back into the magical world of Harry Potter we called home for more than a decade. Can you believe it? The moment JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them begins playing on-screen, with the iconic Warner Brothers’ logo and Hedwig’s Theme playing in the background (sigh) you realize you’ve been holding your breath since 2011.

For those of you who may not know, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them is based on a book JKR wrote as a sidelong book apart from the Harry Potter series. She also wrote Quidditch Through The Ages. Because Fantastic Beasts is not an actual book and more of a guide to knowing your basic magical creatures (and where to find them) it’s makes the movie a lot more fun to watch, since there’s no book to judge it against!

If the Wizarding World was going to have a spin-off after following the 8 part Harry Potter movies..it would have been like Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them.  Remember three years ago to when we first heard the tear racking news telling us we were wrong about thinking it’s the last time we’ve seen a Harry Potter movie on the big screen? Well now 3 years on, we’re so glad that news became a reality. And that’s not all..Fantastic Beats is going to be a 5 part series. All written by JKR. I know I know. Wow. Is this really happening?

If you’re overwhelmed now. Wait for this…at the end of Fantastic Beasts there’e a 99% chance we’ll see the Global Wizarding War between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and their epic final duel (fingers crossed it’ll be better than Harry and Voldemort’s).

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Every single magical creature we came across in the Harry Potter books and wanted desperately wanted to but didn’t glimpse in the movie are all  depicted here (except of course for Peeves sigh). Right from your average tree-dwelling Bowtruckle and shiny objects’ hunting Niffler and so many more magical creatures you’ll have to see for yourself!

The magical beasts are just one thing lets’ talk about the protagonist, Newton Artemis Scamander.  The best thing JKR does in her stories is the way she gives a story arch to every character, be it the protagonist, his/her sidekick/partner villain etc. Newt Scamander is played by Eddie Redmayne and I couldn’t have wished for a more perfect actor. Soon into the movie Newt becomes an instant favourite Him and his suitcase of magical beasts will tug at your heart-strings I guarantee.

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Newt’s main reason for visiting New York becomes quickly disrupted as he accidentally lets loose some of his creatures from his suitcase and must get them back so as not to displease the Magical Congress of America who rigidly maintain a code of secrecy from the No-Maj (muggle) population.

At the heart of the movie, things become quite murky and dark as we see some of the lessons JKR tries to put forth; the topics discussed center around  better treatment of animals, persecution of people simple for being ‘different’, the unpleasing, shadowy workings of some orphanages. inclusion of such topics maintain the connection between reality and magic.

A big role is played by a few No-Majs as well/ Which is where we get to see the potentially good relationships that can be maintained between the magic and non-magic community, a relationship which is strictly denied due to the constant persecution against witches and wizards, since it’s also 1926. This is a time way, way before Harry Potter and there was an increase in the hatred against the magic community. Still even if you think about even in the Harry Potter we see that this persecution has somewhat remained probably because of Voldemort’s influence.

Are we going off-topic? Yes we are…

Newt’s love for his creatures, his way of referencing to himself in third person; “mummy’s here” with his fun, geeky, awkward and shy attitude make him another instant favorite character in Rowling’s universe.  Apart from Newt we have Tina, Jacob, Queenie all of whom are the characters you never knew you wanted.

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Newt’s new friend, Jacob is a No-Maj! With a pretty big role with lots of character development! We get to see a Legilimens, Queenie whose powers will shock you and make you think of Order of the Phoenix.

The whole movie isn’t about Newt re-capturing all of his creatures, although the scenes with him and his insanely adorable, shiny-objects-hunting Niffler are too cute to be adequately described. Those scenes will have to rolling in your seat in peals of laughter.

We are greeted with a plot and then a plot-twist worthy of a Harry Potter book. It’ll make you think instantly of Ariana Dumbledore and her mysterious story-arch (I definitely did). There’s a scene that makes you gasp as loud as I did because I did not know it would be coming so soon in only the first part!  Does anybody miss when JK Rowlimg used to drop bombshells on us? This’ll give you a nice feeling of deja-vu.

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I am already itching to see Fantastic Beasts again..and again for all eternity. It has to be further analyzed and understood! The first time you watch it you get the whole picture but the second time you have to analyze every scene and connect the dots! Rowling’s stories of the magical world are worth coming to over and over again. Her ability to create characters all of us can relate to is simply beautiful.  I can’t wait to get my dose of Newt Scamander in the next 4 movies.

 

 

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