Adventure | Fantasy
Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight, Josh Cowdery, Ronan Raftery, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jenn Murray, Johnny Depp, Zoe Kravitz
After completing a global excursion to find and document magical creatures, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York, where some of his fantastic beasts accidentally escape, putting in danger both the wizarding and the No-Maj worlds.
As someone who read J.K. Rowling's novels and watched the eight films that followed - doing several marathons as well -, I was more than excited for this film. I do have to admit though that I was a bit worried about the film not living up to Harry Potter.
Well, I'm happy to say that "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" delivers everything a fan would have dreamed of. In fact, from the very beginning, the film brings the viewer on a spectacular, engaging, exciting journey to the discovery of a magical New York in the 1920's.
The story is easily one of the best parts of the film. First, although it takes place in the Harry Potter universe, it doesn't try to be a prequel, rather it is a very independent story that can be therefore enjoyed separately from Harry Potter's. Second, after a quite long introduction before actually seeing what the story is about, it unfolds with a perfect pace, it also features some solid twists and interesting turns, and develops the right romance. Not to mention the comedy. Seriously, I doubt I've ever laugh so much while watching any other film of the series.
However, without the characters the story wouldn't be the same. Even though not all of them are properly developed and don't have the screen time they deserve, they all play a role in the story. Also they all are interesting, from the awkward and introverted Newt Scamander, to muggle - or should I say no-maj? - Jacob Kowalski who adds so much humour to the film and makes the story work so well. The villains are also nicely done, but I won't talk too much about them because not knowing exactly who the villains are is kind of the best part.
Technically, the film is quite good. David Yates does a good job directing and the visual effects are outstanding and breathtaking. But the cinematography isn't perfect, even though it has some very beautiful colours.
At last, the cast. I was skeptical about Eddie Redmayne if I have to be honest, but he proved me wrong. Not only he is the perfect fit, but he also gives a great (flawless) performance as Newt Scamander. Katherine Waterston is equally brilliant as the female lead, Porpentina Goldstein. Dan Fogler steals every scene he is in as Jacob, and his potential romance with Queenie, Alison Sudol's character, is one of my favourite things about the story. Colin Farrell's performance as Percival Graves is simply amazing, and I loved watching every moment he was on the screen. Among the others, Ezra Miller deserves a mention: even though his character deserved more time, he gives quite a performance.