A long-awaited prequel to the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been on the top of my watch list for a while now. I can remember seeing the trailer for the first time in the cinema and getting a rush of heated excitement and spine tingling chills simultaneously.
As a Harry Potter fan I was waiting in anticipation to see how close the cinematography and atmospheric feel the movie would have been to the other films. I couldn’t wait to see what magical creatures JK and the team had brough to life, and I’m not afraid to say that I have quite the crush on Eddie Redmayne too. So as you can imagine I didn’t waste much time in going to see this film.
As usual I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll be very careful with writing this post, but the Harry Potter charm was definitely there. Set in 1920’s New York this movie had the most charming feel to it. From the somewhat magical yet in-period costume choices to the soundtrack I was taken aback by the bewitching ambience of the movie almost immediately.
The casting was on-point as Redmayne once again played the slightly awkward, yet alluring male lead on an agenda to save his creatures. With some large Hollywood appearances mixed in with some lesser known British up-and-coming (no doubt future treasures) there was something for everyone.
What struck me most about the film was the progressive differences between the magical community and muggle world in this film (or NoMag world as the American wizards call it.) For the period in which the film is set there is notably some extremely distinctive progression in the magical word in New York in some ways yet completely backwards in others (as Redmayne’s character points out not long after landing in NY). Comparing this to the way the world was looking in real 1920’s England and America it is definitely a think piece. The President of the magical world in New York is not only black but a woman, yet marriage between wizards and NoMages is strictly illegal.
As for the creatures, I was pleasantly surprised by the imaginative solutions and the way they were portrayed on-screen. Particularly notice Redmayne’s performance with the Erumpent, heartfelt and comedic. And who doesn’t love a couple of cute critters taking centre stage; meet the Nifler and Bowtruckle.
I can definitely say that i have been charmed by JK once more.