Movie review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


(Photo Credit: Instagram)

The year is 1926. New York City’s population is booming and its industries are flourishing. Immigrants from around the world travel to the city to experience the hectic lifestyle and for hopeful opportunities. One of these is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a shy wizard looking to expand his fascination with magical creatures of the wizarding world. However, his intellectual journey drastically changes when his “fantastic beasts” are set free among the muggle (non-wizard) city. This fanatic chase creates major disruptions in the city, and an epic fear of exposure among the worldwide wizard community. Add in an intrigued muggle, a magical investigator, and a mind-reading flapper to help Newt Scamander on his journey, not only to capture the escaped creatures, but also battle the dark forces creating the disruptions and defeat the shady members of the “wizard government.”

J.K. Rowling and her team have done it again. They have created an imaginative, captivating plot with equally stunning special effects. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was written by Rowling in 2001 and developed to be a prequel to the Harry Potter book series. The setting is the legendary “wizarding world of Harry Potter,” yet it is not as vibrant as one might think. The film’s setting, New York City, is portrayed as a grey, drab environment, with the only bright colors being from the magical creatures and characters. This contrast really allows the mythical elements to stand out among the mass of muggles in the city.

Director David Yates’ impressive design ideas in the film stand out in almost every way. From the realistic behavior and animation of the magical critters to the small, whimsical details of the wizards, the effects kept my eyes glued to the cinema screen.

The beautiful film technology matched the dramatic plot, which chalked up just enough Harry Potter references to please the dedicated fans longing for new material. Yet, the film is celebrated apart from the acclaimed series as well. Personally, I can’t define the long list of Harry Potter terminology or can explain plot summaries of the seven books/films, but this movie rarely needed the background. On it’s own, the cliffhanger plot left me searching for answers and wishing I was apart of the alluring wizarding world, as all of Rowling’s mythological productions do.

The actors and actresses put on a great performance, especially with vital, distinct traits of each role. Eddie Redmayne is an Academy Award-winning actor who captures the role of a skittish, yet passionate wizard perfectly. Even through all the action scenes, the characters’ unique personalities are still able to develop as the film progresses. Similarly, Colin Farrell, who plays the leading villain, shines as he portrays deceiving behavior and intense emotional battles throughout the film with multiple characters.

The film is complete with a suspenseful, cliff-hanging end. Don’t worry, no spoilers here!

Overall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them satisfies anyone in need of an action-filled, mysteriously magical film — or even an escape into a different universe for 2 hours and 13 minutes (especially after those grueling pre-finals school weeks).

The film debuted in theaters Nov. 18 and is rated PG-13. So grab your family, friends, and fellow Mercy sisters, and dive into the wizarding world together at your local theater.

Fantastic Beasts has received fantastic reviews from acclaimed reviewers, such as Dave Morales from FOX News. (Photo Credit: Instagram)
Fantastic Beasts has received fantastic reviews from acclaimed
reviewers, such as Dave Morales from FOX News. (Photo Credit: Instagram)