Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them // Film Review

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Director: David Yates

Released: 2016

Rating: ★★★★✩

 

I feel I speak on behalf of a lot of people here, when I say that the anticipation for this new franchise was high. When I watched the trailer for the first time not only was I excited but I was also nervous, worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, which would be disappointing. Harry Potter was such a major part of my childhood and still remains one of my favourite book and film series. I was even more compelled to watch this film when I heard that it would be the first installment of a five part series.

After watching it, my initial thoughts were that it was what the Philosophers Stone was to the Harry Potter franchise. I’ll elaborate: once the other four films have been made I imagine that this first film will seem quite light and simple in comparison. Although in no way is this a criticism, for me the film was incredible, it was dark (in places!), it was intense, it was funny. Yet as I’m aware that it is the beginning it felt very much like an introduction to everything that is likely to happen in the proceeding films rather than directly jumping into the overriding plot of this franchise. It definitely wasn’t a disappointment and I now have high expectations for the next four films!

I’m aware of the relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and that it may play a vital part in these films but I still remain unsure as to how it will happen – and when, considering there are still four more films to be released. This film was set during the 1920s however the conflicts between Grindelwald and Dumbledore occur in the 1940s which makes me question what timeline this franchise will be following and what other events will occur along the way. Although this does mean that if the franchise is set between the 1920s and 1950s, we may not get Newt Scamander as a main role in any of the other films which would be disappointing. (Fingers crossed that his character remains!) However I have faith in JK Rowling when she says that the films create a natural story arch suitable for 5 films which make perfect sense.

Most of the characters in this film were all characters that I loved: Newt, Tina, Kowalski and even Credence! I especially liked how the film captured the relationship between No-Maj’s (Why didn’t they just stick to calling them Muggles?) and members of the wizarding world. For example, the relationship between Jacob and Newt was so sweet which in itself made the ending even more heart-wrenching.

As an avid Quidditch lover/player for the University of East Anglia as part of the Norwich Nifflers, I really appreciated the quidditch jokes in the film and the show stealing role of the Niffler – a reeaally cute animal which scavenges for gold objects and generally leaves a lot of destruction in its wake (I want one!) I generally have a lot of love for this film, it was entirely different to what I expected and I can’t wait for what’s to come.

Beth Morley

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