Film Reviews

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)


Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katharine Waterston, Alison Sudol

Director: David Yates

Harry Potter for an older generation, perhaps? This film opens in 20’s New York, where Newt Scamander (Redmayne) has arrived with a suitcase full of trouble. As he bumbles through the city, he manages to embroil a muggle, a magical secret agent and her sister in a mix up which sees various magical creatures released on the city. But while they help him to return them to the safety of the magical suitcase, trouble is brewing in the upper echelons of Magical Congress and a dark evil lurks the streets, attached somehow to a family who preach an end to witches.

So to say that there’s a lot going on here would not be an understatement. Each beautifully realised scene in this film is jam packed with magic, way more than you ever saw in Harry Potter, to the extent that as here magic seems to be able to fix anything and everything, can there really be a sense of urgency and danger here?

Eddie Redmayne has a highly awkward way of overly elaborately avoiding eye contact with everyone that is quite unnerving. And perhaps this is a key point in this film: everyone is trying very hard. There’s wonderful performances, but perhaps too many characters, so we don’t really get to know them. Everything is magical to the extent of being ridiculous, each frame rendered with so many special effects it’s overwhelming. So many magical beasts are stuffed in that they all become mere spectacle after a while. There’s some really good stuff here, but there’s just altogether too much of all of it.

See It If: should please kids and Potter fans, and is fairly entertaining spectacle, but not much more.


14 thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)”

  1. As someone who loves Harry Potter and has read all the associated books, I hated the movie. There was too much overacting and the plot felt rushed. There was too much action and it did not have the mysteriousness of the Harry Potter universe. The setting had too much light. It should have been darker. Watching this movie was akin to having the food thrown at your face instead of being served to you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking of doing a review of the movie. I think I will in maybe two weeks. People are just trying to cash in on the HP fame. The play chosen one was also disappointing. Looks like good things are not meant to last, but linger on in our memories, like her perfume after she has left the room.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was avoiding watching the movie because i felt it wouldn’t be as good as the potter movies, but i like that it has it own vibe and space where it doesnt interfere with the feelings you have towards potter movies. But i agree with you thouhg, the characters where al ot and i felt no connection because their background stories were weak…still enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is not close to being as good as the Potter films, but I still found it entertaining and enjoyable. I read the screenplay before going to see it, and after seeing the film I read the book about the film, and out of three, the book about the film was the thing I enjoyed the most. I’m hopeful that the subsequent films will be continue to improve on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the Harry Potter books and movies so I was eager to watch this..but sadly the spell seems to have lost its wizardy touch for me. Like you mentioned, I felt it was too chaotic to and I was often getting confused by what was happening all at once. Visually it’s stunning but it fell flat for me with its storyline.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. (Whispers)..I think not being an ‘obsessed’ fan helps me see such movies differently by the same author. The Harry Potter books and movies had a certain charm that was simple but endearing to follow. One of those movies and novels that you can watch from time to time but with fantastic beast, it felt too draining with all the different characters and confusion.

        Liked by 1 person

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