A wizard enters New York City in the late 1920’s with a suitcase…
A suitcase full of magical creatures, a doorway to another realm where the creatures live. Unfortunately some of the creatures escape.
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a British (former) student of Hogwarts is on a quest to rescue a creature that has been terrorizing NYC. He is there to not only capture it but to rescue it from muggles (average, non-magical humans) who do not understand and most likely will kill or harm the beast, if they could see it. It’s invisible.
Soon he bumps into Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler, a lowly factory worker who has dreams of owning his own Bakery in the city. A chance meet where they literally bump into eachother at the Bank where Jacob had tried unsuccessfully to get a business loan Jacobs and Newts suitcases get swapped.
Also to throw into the mix of characters is Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). she is also a muggle (like Jacob) but she is aware that there are witches and wizards throughout the city and tries to warn the public, using the children from her Orphanage to educate citizens on the impending dangers.
Mary Lou is a dark and twisted lady who tends to be suspicious of everyone, including her children that she takes care of. Her Orphanage is much like a religious sect and very very strict. One of her actual children; Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) receives regular abuse from his mother. Quiet and very subdued he tolerates the discipline while adhering to his mothers rhetoric.
While in NYC a Niffler escapes from Newts suitcase. Nifflers love shiny things and it is unfortunate that it escapes at the city Bank, where there are copious amounts of gold, silver and coins for the Niffler to steal.
Before Newt can recapture the Niffler he gets himself arrested by Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) from the local Wizard council, as Newt is an unregistered Wizard in the city.
Eventually Tina gets herself caught up in the goings on with Newt and (at times) begrudgingly assists Newt in the retrieval of his suitcase and the creatures that escape from it.
With Jacob and Tina’s mind reading sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) the four of them witness sinister plans unfolding from one of the NYC Wizard Council members and discover that the quiet and shy Credence is not exactly what he appears to be.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film from Warner Bros. is based of the novel penned by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter books) and is based some years before the events at Hogwarts that we are already familiar with.
Fantastic Beasts, the film, retains the same flavour as the previous Harry Potter movies but has more adult appeal to it. Some areas may be a bit dark for younger audiences (or over their heads) but this does not mean that Fantastic Beasts is not a film for the entire family.
All characters make their mark on the story, with secondary characters having pivotal roles to the story. What I was also pleased with was the CGI was not overly done. Just the right amount to play out the narrative.
Slightly long at 133 minutes (over 2 hours) yet highly enjoyable.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a definite for Harry Potter fans, even those that have read the books, (including the one that this film is based on) will not be disappointed.
If you are keen to get into the Harry Potter mytho – start with this one and work your way back. Fantastic Beasts although it is a major part of the Harry Potter lore, it is as equally a stand alone. A must see film for everyone.
Running Time: 133 MIN
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Director: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Colin Farrell
Production Studio: Heyday Films
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures