A Fantastic Review for a Fantastic Movie
By Aaron Soliz, Clarion Staff
After nearly five years since the last installment of the Harry Potter series, loyal fans can finally rejoice as they enter the wizarding world once again in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film is based on J.K. Rowling’s book of the same title, and serves as a prequel to the Harry Potter series. Director David Yates, who is recognized for his work on Harry Potter 5-8 and, more recently, The Legend of Tarzan, has outdone himself with this film.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars an abundance of talented actors and actresses. Eddie Redmayne portrays British wizard Newt Scamander, one of the protagonists. Other protagonists Tina Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski, and Queenie Goldstein, are played by Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol (in that respective order). The film also stars Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Ezra Miller, who each play antagonists Percival Graves, Mary Lou Barebone, and Credence Barebone, respectively. Each and every cast member certainly brings out their best when playing their characters.
Set in 1926, a British wizard Newt Scamander travels to New York City in the hopes to continue his expedition towards Arizona. He brings along a suitcase containing various magical creatures, which unfortunately escape throughout New York. During his visit, a woman named Mary Lou Barebone manages a city wide organization, aimed to convince the public that wizard and witches exist and exterminate them. In the best interest to conceal themselves, the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA) are hiding from the public. With Newt’s magical beasts on the loose, he and his companions Tina and Queenie, two witches, and Jacob, a cannery worker who has witnessed magic, must return the beasts to Newt’s briefcase and face a new form of evil in the hopes to prevent the exposure of MACUSA to the public.
This movie is an outstanding film for both young and mature audiences. The visuals are stunning, and keeps the tradition of captivating magic and uniqueness in the film. Aside from an occasional reference to the original series, this film is able to stand alone as its own movie, as a great movie should be. The cast is amazing, as a variety of feelings of sadness and joy are acutely expressed. Simply put, this movie was fantastic.