Even though J.K. Rowling stated at the beginning of August that she was done with Harry Potter, she cannot seem to stop churning out stories from the wizarding universe she created.
Inspired by Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name, the first of the five highly anticipated films came out on November 18. Set in 1920s America, about 70 years before Harry’s story starts, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), has come to New York to research his new book.
The screenplay was written by J.K. Rowling herself, and it definitely feels like something written by a novelist. Mainly, the plot revolves around Scamander trying to find his escaped animals around the city; however, there are also ten more different stories entangled in the movie, and as this is not a novel, none of these aforementioned plots get a chance to fully blossom. Plus, almost all of them end with ‘To be continued’. The movie seems to be trying to set the stage for four other future movies, instead of being in the present.
Even though Fantastic Beasts is plotless at times, the visual effects are mind-blowing – they make up for everything. The creatures are what makes the movie truly magical. Directed by David Yates, who also made the last four Harry Potter films, the movie does a great job of transitioning between humorous, dark and even sinister scenes. It is well-shot, and the CGI is phenomenal. Watching Redmayne as the introverted and unassuming magizoologist care and worry about the animals is endearing, even if you are not a lover of creatures. The film tugs furiously on your heart multiple times.
The characters aren’t loveable – yet – but could become so in time. Until then, we can escape into Rowling’s breath-taking imagination as it comes to life once more.