Film Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

A review by Teen Blogger, Stephanie

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter franchise, it would only make sense that I would immediately fangirl over something that is Harry Potter-related. For instance, when J.K. Rowling announced that David Yates, the director of the fifth to the eighth instalment of the Harry Potter series, would be returning to film the Harry Potter spin-off film named “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” I freaked a good way! Especially when the first trailer was released, I instantly felt myself being pulled back into this magical universe that I have grown to know so well over my childhood.

"The film’s first official synopsis was released on 11th of December 2015. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident… were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.”   - Harry Potter Wiki

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

One of the most nostalgic moments was the film’s soundtrack, it definitely gives out its magical vibe from its powerful musical score, as it reminded me that Fantastic Beasts is, indeed, part of the Harry Potter world. Also, the beginning of the main theme of Fantastic Beasts is similar to that of Hedwig’s theme of the HP franchise. In addition, one of the many things that I like about the film is in its wonderful casting.

Let’s start with Eddie Redmayne. I personally think that the casting directors did a great job in casting him as the protagonist, Newt Scamander, as he is indeed, Newt himself. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s see: first of all, Newt Scamander is a proud Hufflepuff and so is Eddie Redmayne, which means that their personality is somewhat similar. Also, Eddie Redmayne’s appearance also has a Hufflepuff vibe to it, I can pretty much tell as I myself am a Hufflepuff, too. Next, we have Colin Farrell who played his character Percival Graves well, although I would prefer it if the casting directors have cast him as the main antagonist Gellert Grindelwald instead. Maybe because I’m biased or because I became way too attached and into his acting as Graves but put both of these reasons aside, it is also because I do not imagine Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Furthermore, I do think that both Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp are both brilliant actors but for me, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald is just not working and this is somehow a disappointment for me.

Overall, the excitement that I was feeling in the first half of the film slowly faded as I was watching the second half as it became somehow predictable after Newt’s interrogation with Graves. Although, despite my loss of excitement, the visual effects in the film were still amazing and the beasts were fantastic indeed. Also, despite its predictable ending, I still couldn’t contain my excitement for the sequel where the story will take place in Paris, France. That being said, the film was a roller coaster ride as I was jumping in joy when Newt’s having his time with his creatures and newfound friends, but furious whenever Credence was abused by his step-mother and manipulated by Graves. #Credence deserved better.

J.K. Rowling announced during a panel discussion that “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” would be continuing as a series with five movies instead of a trilogy as earlier reported. All five of these movies will also be directed by David Yates, who will release the sequel of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” on November 16, 2018.

I would recommend this film to every fantasy-adventure fanatic and especially to Potterheads who still couldn’t get enough magic in their lives! Go crazy with magic and Harry Potter goodness! If you haven’t read nor watched the Harry Potter franchise then I would recommend it. Books and DVDs can be found at your nearest public library.