It’s been almost five years, but JK Rowling’s wizarding world has returned to its rightful place on the big screen. The eight previous Harry Potter films have visually explained a vast and one of the most exciting fantasy worlds in literature and cinematic history and with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we get to know about this world even further in a different time and place. Before I saw Fantastic Beasts I only wanted it to serve one purpose, it is the one purpose that every reboot or remake should follow and that is to provide a smooth ride and calmly reintroduce us to the films world without slamming it is our faces.
Fantastic Beasts fulfils this promise by creating a fun and cheerful tone like the Harry Potter films that were directed by Chris Columbus. David Yates since directing Order of the Phoenix provided the later Harry Potter films with maturity and a darkness into the wizarding world. This time around Yates, with the creative knowledge provided by JK Rowling, have created a film which families can enjoy together and doesn’t provide parents with the gut feeling of something too dark for their youngsters. Not only have Yates and Rowling created an enjoyable film, they have also created an enjoyable film that can stand on itself.
Fantastic Beasts is a film where is doesn’t have to rely on the fact that it is tied to the Harry Potter franchise, I even dare to say someone who has not seen the Harry Potter films, doesn’t have to watch all eight films to understand the film. Reboots, remakes, spin offs etc. often rely on objects or characters that have some tie in to previous films to reignite the fan inside of us for the film to be enjoyable, Fantastic Beasts doesn’t need to do this, which is incredible and worthy of applause for a remake that at first seemed like a cash grab relying on our love for the Harry Potter films, having saying that there is only one characters who makes an appearance in this film where hardcore fans of Harry Potter will know the significance this characters has in the wizarding world.
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander is amazing in this film, his character reminds me of that part in all of us where you have an appreciation in something that no one else can or will ever understand its importance to you, in Newt’s case it’s his perception of magical creatures. Speaking of these creatures, each one of them is designed beautifully, there are creatures that embody a graceful appearance, some mischievous and creatures that are downright dangerous. There is a great sequence is where Newt and Kowalski step into Newt’s briefcase and you get to see an entire sanctuary
However, my stand out character in this must be Jacob Kowalski (Played by Dan Fogler) a no-maj (muggle) who is very much the audience characters. Kowalski is very much on the same page as the audience in terms of how much knowledge the audience knows about the story and what path it might take.
Recently, I have been very critical about JK Rowling because of confirmation of unnecessary information that fails to live up to the wonder of the Harry Potter world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was very disappointing and seemed to be created to cover up the plot holes created by the films. When It was announced that she would be writing the screenplay it proved that she now wanted total control over the films perception of her world, which she has every right to do but it may not be the right thing to do. Her result was a solid first attempt at a screenplay but the dialogue seems to literature like and thus it teeters between serious and cheesy.
It isn’t simple to adapt a book to a screenplay because screenwriters can fall into the trap of making the script sound too much like its source material. I understand that it can be a challenge and an even heavier one when you’re trying to create a story from a source material that has no story. Fantastic Beasts started its life as a Hogwarts school textbook written for charity so the film very much came from Rowling’s imagination. I want to see JK Rowling write more scripts but she must improve on making the transition from book to film in written dialogue.
The conclusion does take a long time to wrap everything up, there are about three or four moments in the film where it could have been a satisfying conclusion, but the film stretches it for the soul purpose of setting up the next film.
Watching very carefully I noticed very minuscule errors in the films presentation, some of the camera angle feel strange resulting in the identification of what the audience should be focusing on in the shot. There are places where the CGI creatures stand out too much from the location, sometimes it’s even the other way around.
But despite these errors, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is still a fun, entertaining time at the cinema that satisfies even the most hardcore fans desperation to return to one of the greatest film universes to be adapted to the big screen. It has silence my criticism of the film being another way to take audiences money and am seriously looking forward to see what the next films can do better.
Final Result: 7/10 – Good
Have you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
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