Tonight I went to the cinema to see the new JK Rowling movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
It’s not really a Harry Potter prequel or sequel per se, but it does take place in the Harry Potter universe. To be exact, about 70 years before the first Harry Potter book. I’m a big HP fan, so I admittedly am somewhat biased when it comes to this movie. If you come into this movie with no knowledge of the HP universe, you can still enjoy it as a good movie – but I think that you definitely get a lot more out of the movie if you do know the universe that you’re stepping into a bit. There are some little nods to the original books, but the story can hold up quite well on its own.
The story is about Newt Scamander, who you might remember from the original books as the author of the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“, that Harry and his class mates study in school. I find it quite amazing how JK Rowling has taken a tiny reference in the original books, and made a whole new series out of it.
Newt, a British wizard, is having a brief stop in New York with his case full of magical creatures. It would have been a brief and uneventful visit, had the case not gotten lost and some of the creatures escaped. We get to see Newt trying to get his beasts back, while trying to avoid getting into trouble with the Magical Congress (American version of Ministry of Magic), and things quite quickly get out of hand.
There’s a lot more to the story than I originally thought, and I really enjoyed delving deeper into the wizard world. It’s also interesting seeing the differences between the British/European wizard world and the American one. The cinematography is beautiful, and the beasts themselves a combination of adorable, imaginative and impressive.
Eddie Redmayne is a brilliant Newt Scamander, and I must say that I really enjoyed Colin Farrell as Graves. Dan Fogler deserves a mention as well, as the “no-maj” (American name for a “muggle”) that ends up entangled in Newt’s mess, and allows us to see things from his eyes in a world that he didn’t know existed.
I don’t want to say too much about the movie, because I don’t want to risk spoiling it. There are a few things about it that bothered me, but because they are mainly in regards to plot twists and things that happen later in the movie, I won’t get into them here.
All in all, I think it’s a film that’s definitely worth seeing, especially if you enjoy the world of Harry Potter.
Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?