A new face has entered the world of Hogwarts and Expelliarmus. However, instead of the chosen one, the grand hero, rightfully from Gryffindor, we instead see a total dork, who likes looking at weird animals, from Hufflepuff.
Set in 1920s New York City, we find Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) hopping off a boat from the other side of the pond, with a briefcase full of fantastic beasts. Due to more than a cliché bag mixup, a muggle (Dan Fogler), or “nomaj” as they are called in the US, gets his briefcase, and accidentally opens it, to unleash a number of magical creatures loose in NYC.
However, there is another plot going on, which opens the door for the future 4 films. An Auror by the name of Graves (Colin Farrell), is working with a child from the local anti-witchcraft fanatics, “Second Salem”, trying to find a small child that is secretly magical, for this child is very powerful and will change the future for the wizarding world.
This movie did not feel like a Harry Potter movie, instead, it felt more like the books. You see magic in new beautiful ways, and your imagination is allowed to soar. For those who are not HP fans to begin with, they will most likely not enjoy this film, because it is not a stand alone film. It wasn’t meant to be. It is a great piece of love from the world of Harry Potter, but not a great story on its own.
The music was written at the same time the movie was, so the movie was made to match the score, just as vice versa, unlike most movies, where the music is written after most of the film is made. The music pulled me out of the film a few times, but not in a distracting way, more in an awe-inspiring way.
The acting in this movie is disappointing. Eddie Redmayne was absolutely fantastic, and I cannot wait to see how he leads the other 4 movies upcoming. But Tina (Katherine Waterson) was very dry, and reminded me of a high school play, more than a major motion picture. Some of the other actors were alright, but played their characters exactly as you’d expect, with nothing to show. However, again, Eddie Redmayne put lots of time and energy into his character of Newt, from the way he looks at people, the way he talks, the way he holds himself, and even when he is thinking, you can see very deliberate choices in his character. I want to see more of Eddie, and luckily we will.
The magic in this film is exactly what you’d want out of a Harry Potter film, and you can tell it hasn’t been as developed as it is in the HP series. The Accio spell hasn’t been perfected yet, in that you only say Accio, and whatever your wand is pointing at is what comes, as opposed to being specific (“Accio Firebolt”) and that particular item, wherever it is, comes to you. There are other instances like this, where magic hasn’t been as crafted yet, which leads to a more difficult time doing what needs to be done.
Overall, I absolutely loved this film, as I do every single HP film. I can’t wait for the Blu-Ray to come out, so I can see special features and commentary on their choices on making the first original HP film, and I can’t wait for the next four movies to come!
Fantastic Casting and Where You Find Them
Newt Scamander > Eddie Redmayne > Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything)/ Marius (Les Miserables)
Graves > Colin Farrell > Stu Shepard (Phone Booth) / Bullseye (Daredevil 2003)
Tina > Catherine Waterston > Chrisann Brennan (Steve Jobs)
Kowalski > Dan Folger > Randy Daytona (Balls of Fury) / Hutch (Fanboys)
Credence > Ezra Miller > Patrick (Perks of Being a Wallflower) / The Flash (Justice League)
Shaw Senior > Jon Voight > Mr. Sir (Holes) / Patrick Gates (National Treasure)