Friday, November 18, 2016


By a fortuitous event Newt Scamander's (Eddie Redmayne) magical suitcase, containing all different kinds of magical animals, is mistakenly swapped with muggle (No-Maj in the states) Jacob Kowalski's (Dan Folger) ordinary one. Kowalski opens the suitcase and some creatures escape and are now running rampant in the middle of No-Maj New York. It is now up to Newt to retrieve them all quickly before an already delicate situation with the No-Maj community goes even more south.

The Magical world of J.K. Rowling is back once again on the big screen in all of its glory and as a fervent Potterhead, as a fan of J.K. Rowling's writing, as a fan of Yates and Heyman and as a film fan I can confidently say that this feature satisfied me on all of those levels and, might I add, it even gave me something more.

First and foremost it is remarkable to see how well this new installment fits overall into the mythology of Potter, but even more so how brilliantly and surprisingly it expands upon it. J.K. Rowling once again proves her unquestionable brilliance in storytelling, because other than being a wonderful addition to the Magical Saga this is, more than anything, a great screenplay, full of the classical wit we have come to expect from Rowling, filled with intelligence in the character web and how it connects to the themes and full of great humor that has always been an integral part of Rowling's writing.

As always Yates and production designer Stuart Craig (what a pleasure to see him back again!) do an amazing job on the world-building and if I may, this might be their best work yet on that level. This is probably due to the direct influence Rowling had in the making of the film and it just gives it this bump in quality that I really did not think I was going to get. The beasts in this film are amazing and drive the story as much as the characters, they are beautifully drawn and filled with the great imagination of this writer.

Rowling proves her skill by giving every story element a meaning, a space in the narrative and a functionality that is reflective of that in the world. Her storytelling skills are simply baffling, every living being, human or animal, in the film has its distinctive characteristics and they reflect what their arc is, giving weight to the narrative in a way that feels organic and motivated. The reason these stories have so much success is because of the characters and as usual we are graced with a canvas of rich and varied individuals, from Newt, right to the smallest speaking role, every one has a chance to shine on screen exactly because these characters are written so richly and come from the mind of a writer who simply knows how to do them right.

Still, a lot of credit is due to the cast, and I mean a lot of it because this is the best cast display I have seen all year, beating even the greats we've had like Captain America: Civil War and Everybody Wants Some. The leading quartet composed by Redmayne, Fogler, Waterston and Sudol is chemistry gold. I mean I would actually consider giving them the SAG best ensemble award right now, that's how good these actors manage to translate their characters on screen. There is simply no filter, you just see these characters. Sudol is a revelation, she lights up the screen with joy and plays her quirky part to the perfect balance, giving credibility and gravitas to a character that could have easily become annoying. Yet her fellow actors aren't less deserving. Waterston is on fire here, Fogler too, bringing incredible comic chops to the table. Redmayne is perfectly cast and brings young Newt to life just as I imagined him. Farrell, Miller, Morton...I mean the list just goes on and they were all simply glorious.

There's even more to be admired here. The social commentary, the thematic exploration that furthers even more themes in the Potter Saga and brilliantly introduces new ones like abuse. Still I have not given Yates and Heyman the credit they are do for making yet another great film, that makes Heyman nine for nine not even counting his incredible success outside of this franchise. Yates is still directing these pictures beautifully and he gives this one a particular sense of joy and adventure, pulling off some truly spectacular set pieces that had the whole audience in my theater laughing, holding their breath and applauding in relief.

There are a couple of flaws that kind of annoyed me. The final confrontation is partly breathtaking but on the other hand how some of the logistics are handled was kind of lazy. There are a couple of moments that really drop the ball and undermine the resolution of the whole drama. There are some minor inconsistencies that a Harry Potter nerd like me caught and that could be analyzed to the bone, but the bottom line is that they bothered the narrative and could have been dealt with further down the line without needing to dilute this film.

Fortunately, the overall result is as far away as being defined diluted as possible. Fantastic BeastsAnd  Where To Find Them is a great addition the the Harry Potter canon and it stands on its own as a magical, joyful ride that will give a great theater experience to audiences of all ages, I am sure.

James's Score: 8.5/10

Make sure to check us out and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all of our reviews, news, trailers, and much, much more!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment