Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see J. K. Rowling’s latest offering, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, at its Sydney premiere. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
Set in the 1920s, the story follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who has arrived in New York from Great Britain. Newt is carrying a suitcase full of magical creatures with the aim of releasing one in its natural habitat. However, due to a couple of unfortunate events, some of the creatures escape, threatening the secrecy of the magic world.
The film, which will be part of a five-film franchise, was directed by David Yates, who was also responsible for directing a few of the Harry Potter films and unsurprisingly, the two franchises share a similar visual aesthetic. This time, Yates takes us to a familiar world but this time located in the U.S. The film makes reference to the Wizarding World with spells, characters and magical creatures used in the Harry Potter series that will strike a chord with hardcore fans of the series.
Despite a few nods, we did feel that there was room to make further references to the Wizarding World that we know and love. The one advantage of avoiding this is that ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is clearly distinguishable from the Harry Potter franchise and will therefore appeal to a whole new audience. Having said that, some differences were unnecessary, for example changing the name ‘muggles’ to ‘no maj‘ (no magic).
The movie is packed with non-stop action, fun and tons of magical creatures; however, sometimes the special effects and overuse of CGI attract more attention than even the main characters. Moreover, at certain times the plot became a bit confusing, leaving many loose ends.
Eddie Redmayne delivers an exceptional performance as Newt Scamander, he is eccentric, funny and perfect for the role. The muggle, now part of the gang, played by Dan Fogler was a surprising (and great) addition to the magical world and added some good comedy relief. Furthermore, our new heroines, Katherine Waterstone (Porpetina Golstein) and Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein) are also fine in their roles.
The new gang was joined by an amazing all-star supporting cast including: Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman and Johny Depp.
Overall ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is a thrilling ride through the magical world we all love and definitely a must-watch film.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM releases in Australia Today!