Set in the world of J.K. Rowling’s warmth, magic and heart but taken back to the roaring 20’s of New York City, the Prohibition Age, the Jazz Age.
This movie follows the adventures of one, Newt Scamander, who has a great affinity towards marvellous magical creatures and a self-imposed duty to care and to protect these creatures from the misconceptions of the human world.
Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne portrayed a self-proclaimed Magizoologist, with a case full of creatures. On his journey of preservation of these creatures, he bumped into a merry band comprising of two New York City witches and an unknowing but ever so triumphant No-Mag (an American term for humans without magical abilities otherwise known as Muggles) and they became sort of a quartet, saving the world.
Being a Potterhead myself, I was going into this with low expectations. It was after all the 9th movie in the establishment and how much better could it get? Well, apparently a lot!
If you haven’t read or watched any of the previous Harry Potter books or films, fret not because J.K. Rowling has managed to incorporate elements of mystique, wonder and thrill to this production. With the introduction of the swift little Niffler that stole the hearts of many with his predilection for anything glittery to the tiny leafy fellow, that’s known as a Bowtruckle. These creatures not only brought a whole other dimension to the movie but also presented itself as a learning curve for us viewers.
Although the movie did revolve around these magnificent creatures that escaped old Newt’s briefcase, the story was actually as a catalyst to a bigger story related to the Wizarding World with the display of Good versus Evil precept. There is somewhat of an ethics scale to the storyline that Newt Scamander triggers.
Amidst all this, Rowling still manages to effortlessly include a powerful message in portraying the consequences of any form of severe oppression to a human being. With the introduction of the Obscurial, we saw what happens when a young wizard, played by actor, Ezra Miller, is forced to suppress his magical abilities for fear of execution as it was the era where alleged wizards and witches were supposedly burned alive, a modern Salem Witch Trials. For Potterheads, we could see a possible explanation to a future plot.
All in all, the combination of a perfect cast role and an intelligent well-written script, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is a must watch for all (Potterheads or not)!
Also, I’d recommend reading the books. Till then, enjoy the movie!