The Carthaginian

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Anne-Marie Thompson

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (or simply Fantastic Beasts) starring Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Ron Perlman, Johnny Depp, Jon Voight, and Carmen Ejogo takes place in the streets of New York City in December of 1926 (the middle of the Jazz Age for America). Fantastic Beasts is a fantasy movie aimed towards fans of the Harry Potter franchise and is rated PG-13. My rating of this movie is 5/5 stars as I am part of the Harry Potter fandom myself and was very pleased with how the movie transported me back into J.K. Rowling’s masterfully created world of magic and adventure.

The year is 1926 and the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) is at large, striking fear into wizarding communities across the globe. British wizard and magizoologist, Newt Scamander (Redmayne), has stopped in New York on his way to Arizona he might have come and gone without anybody the wiser to his existence, if it were not for a particularly troublesome No-Maj named Jacob (Fogler) seeing him perform magic, an austere witch named Tina (Waterston), and Tina’s seemingly ditzy and adventurous sister Queenie (Sudol). A misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts could spell trouble for the wizarding world, and the situation is only made worse by the daily protests being led by Mary Lou Barebone and devastating attacks that wreaks havoc along New York’s bustling 5th Avenue.

The setting of Fantastic Beasts was very realistic and it really pulled me in and one the lights dimmed and the movie started, I really felt like I was in 1920s New York City. The props used didn’t look out of place or like props (so you can imagine when the lights came on that it was pretty disorienting for a moment.) I have visited New York City on one occasion and having watched the movie later, the film directors really did accurately depict the busy-ness of the city.

Redmayne positively owned his role as bumbling but charming young British activist Newt Scamander. And Fogler was great in his role as No-Maj Jacob Kowalski. The actors really took it to another level and they didn’t act stiff in some of their roles like some actors do when they’re not comfortable in the setting. Redmayne and Fogler acted perfectly at home on the supposed 20th century New York streets. And Sudol really redefined the “ditzy blonde” stereotype with her cunning portrayal of pretty Queenie Goldstein.

The quality of the film was really good and would recommend that anybody who enjoyed the Harry Potter franchise go watch this movie at once. It’s a definite must for any witch or wizards collection. Would I watch this movie regularly? Yes. The magic of this film is something that has to be revisited (and if people can’t tell by this somewhat glowing review I’m giving it…I did really enjoy the film.) Buying this on DVD is definitely in my future, and if you like Harry Potter is should definitely be in yours. It will probably be some of the best money you or I will ever spend.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them