Critic’s Corner: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

By: Dakotah Jones

Okay, it’s finally here: Fantastic Beasts. The long awaited prequel to the Harry Potter series has finally arrived and I have to say; it did not disappoint. The plot begins with Newt Scamander, a wizard whose expertise is in rare magical beasts, arriving in New York City. When he gets caught smuggling illegal beasts by the U.S. Bureau of Magic and some of his specimens escape, his goal is simple: find them all.

I’ll start off by saying that the plot is very simple, but it’s fun, and holds true to the Harry Potter style that we’ve all grown accustomed to. The acting was solid, Eddie Redmayne (Newt) was very believable and made a great wizard. Dan Fogler, who plays an aspiring baker named Kowalski who gets caught up in Newt’s quest to secure the beasts, was also very good and added an element of comedic relief through what can be at times a dark ambiance. The directing falls in line with all of the other Harry Potters but this one is separate in that since the landscape was New York City, the scenes were more robust with visual effects. The screenplay holds true to J.K. Rowling’s style, quick and punchy, but always mysterious nonetheless. The verdict: this is a fantastic extension of the Harry Potter films. It holds true to everything that everyone loves about these films, and I felt like a kid again watching Rowling’s ideas being created on the big screen.

What I probably loved most, and I believe that many can agree with, was that the plot is set in the U.S.. I always wondered what the wizarding world would look like in America and it did not disappoint. I enjoyed all of the characters and I felt that they blended in well with all the other Rowling creations. The plot has a dark element to it which is always the best part of Rowling’s writing in my opinion, and there was a slightly deeper, almost religious undertone to it, and it kept me intrigued the entire time. I give this film a 8/10 because I really believe that it did a great job holding true to the original style of the Harry Potter films both visually and through the screenplay. What I wouldn’t have minded seeing however, would’ve been more of a backstory of the main character Newt. It’s definitely implied that there will be more to come as there are more books, and I really look forward to watching them when they come out. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a visually fun film with a strong and witty plot.

Dakotah Jones, Opinions Editor, Junior 18’. From Brielle, New Jersey. Majoring in MOL W/ Marketing, Minor in English. Football Team, SAAC, Writing Center

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