Thursday, December 1, 2016
Rapid Fire (Film) Review - Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
In Realm Beyond Sight's "Rapid Fire Review" I hit the good, the bad, and try to get out before the review becomes too long winded. In this new review I take a look at David Yates and J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
J.K. Rowling once said that whether it was by page or by the big screen that Hogwarts will always be there to welcome us home. However, she proved with this film that it's not just Hogwarts that will feel like home but the entire wizarding world. Sitting down in the theater and watching this film truly felt like going home again. I was surrounded by something familiar and comfortable. When I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011, I never expected to feel the magical sensation of experiencing a new Harry Potter adventure again. The Harry Potter franchise, for many reasons, is deeply meaningful to me. I'm not ashamed that by the end of this new film I swelled up with emotions that flooded back to me. If it's not screamingly obvious, I absolutely loved this film.
One of the best things about this film is that it brought fans to a new wizarding world that is truly awe inspiring. I am not talking about New York City (which was amazing in its own right) but instead I mean the adult wizarding world. We get a chance to view magic at its finest, from simple household chores to the excitement of dueling. Except for the Dumbledore / Voldemort battle, all the duels in the Harry Potter films are on the level of children just throwing spells and hexes back and forth at each other. Even when the Order goes up against the Death Eaters it is mainly just back and forth spells. However, this film has true battles with terrifying consequences. We even see apparition used flawlessly during combat to simply move a foot or two out of the way of a spell or to gain the upper hand on an opponent by surprising them. It was brilliant.
The leading four characters in this film werw simply amazing and it felt really fresh to be learning about new characters. The chemistry between Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Porpentina (Tina) Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) was beautiful to watch develop. The characters had wonderful give and take and they all had their moments to shine. Newt Scamander is absolutely the hero that we need right now. This character goes through a variety of emotions from sad to angry to scared but not once does he scream out in anger or attack out of anger. If fact he does the complete opposite and keeps his composure and politeness throughout the film. His love for the creatures shines through beautifully (especially when in the suitcase with Jacob) and it is clear that he is a kindred spirit of Hagrid's, fighting the same fight 70 years before we meet Hagrid; that these creatures are beautiful and misunderstood and just need people's caring and understanding. Newt actually makes Hagrid and his creatures look normal. The creatures themselves are absolutely amazing. Each is brought to life with their own personality and unique attributes. Taking a quick look at Jacob, the wonderful thing about him is that he is the audience in this film. We watch and experience this new magical world right beside him with awe and excitment. He then steps into his own delivering some of the best moments of the film. Colin Ferrell as Percival Graves was a pleasant surprise in this film. Ferrell nailed the role and played the part beautifully.
The story of the film flows smoothly and it is filled with some truly amazing Easter eggs and references to the larger Harry Potter franchise. It perfectly handles having the magical whimsy of the Potter films while having a more adult tone to it that gives it a fresh, new feel. Watch closely and you just may get answers to unanswered questions or plot points posed in the Potter films. The film wonderfully shows off New York City in the 1920s from the music to the stunning fashion to iconic look and architecture of old New York.
This film is beyond amazing. I could spend all day talking about it. This is an extremely enjoyable film from start to finish. Harry Potter fans will fall in love with this film and new fans to the franchise will find this film to be a perfect entering point. J.K. Rowling has delivered another true piece of magic with this film.
Rating: For all that is magical, go see this film right now! Go see it multiple times!
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