Real magic never really dies and that’s exactly what J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding world is. From the familiar Hedwig’s Theme during the title sequence which transformed into its own song, this film took the nostalgia of the Harry Potter movies and applied it to a new but equally excellent story.
Those familiar with the Harry Potter books will find plenty of references that will delight but this movie is accessible to everybody. There’s no way to fully separate it from the previous franchise but it begins with a black slate so that even those unacquainted with the Wizarding world are able to enjoy it.
The film takes place in 1920s New York which in and of itself is a beautiful backdrop but pales in comparison to the Wizarding world locations that are showcased. A particular favourite of mine is the US version of the Ministry of Magic that stretches into the clouds.
Whilst the film’s title indicates a focus on a menagerie of magical creatures, the most fantastic creature of all is surely Newt Scamander, played masterfully by Eddie Redmayne. Newt is the hero that we rarely see but so desperately need: he is pure of heart and driven by a desire to educate and protect. He’s the poster-boy for Hufflepuff-ness.
Friendship is a key theme throughout this movie and as such, the friends that Newt makes along the way are also wonderful characters, played by great actors. In the spirit of not spoiling anything, I won’t say too much about the villains except that I was surprised by the ending. Delighted, but surprised.
I entered this movie expecting to love it and I wasn’t disappointed.
Have you seen Fantastic Beasts? What did you think? Are you less biased than me and have actual criticisms? Let me know in the comments.