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Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Senior Reporter

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This review contains spoilers for the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” If you do not wish to read these spoilers, the Prospector recommends leaving this page.

After five nearly dormant years in the Harry Potter world, 2016 has brought both a new screenplay and movie. Based off of the textbook Harry Potter used throughout his years at Hogwarts, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” follows the author of the textbook, Newt Scamander. Scamander ventures to New York in 1926 and accidentally lets several of his beasts out into the city.

This was only the first movie in a series of five, which will all be written by J.K. Rowling. The first movie takes place in 1926, and the last one will end in 1945. All movies will follow Scamander and the events of his life. It also follows Gellert Grindelwald, the evil wizard who tried to become the master of death by possessing all of the Deathly Hallows.

Overall, the movie was a combination of mischief, drama, fantasy, adventure and pure wonder. Newt Scamander and his friends truly brought the world of Harry Potter back to life. The chemistry between the characters was very genuine and sincere. It was easy to relate to them, especially the ones with heartwarming and kind personalities, such as Queenie and Jacob, and ones with emotional backgrounds, such as Credence.

There were several emotional scenes that I feel really pulled the audience in, and enveloped them into the story. One example, is the scene at the end of the movie in the train station, where Newt and Tina confront Credence. The more lighthearted scenes included the ones where Newt and Jacob went to seek out the beasts. The beasts that roamed New York were humorous and beautiful creatures. The CGI was spectacular, and really made the beasts realistic.

A few scenes did seem confusing, such as the execution scene. The pool that held Tina’s visions of her mother, the pool also held vision of Credence. The connection between the two characters was unclear. They might investigate it further, however, in future movies.

At times, it almost felt like I was watching two different movies. The scenes with Credence and Graves were intensely dark and brooding; whereas the scenes with Newt and his friends were lighthearted and humorous. They didn’t seem connected until the end of the film.

Although the acting was beautiful and genuine, I am not sure that Johnny Depp was the right choice for Grindelwald. Johnny Depp has done spectacular jobs in the past in movies such as, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” However, I do not think that he can do justice to Grindelwald without blending in too many of his past roles into the character. I believe that a better choice for the character would have been Colin Farrell, who played Graves. Possibly replacing him with Grindelwald, and casting someone else as Graves would have been a more solid choice. Another thing about Grindelwald, is that it was somewhat obvious that Graves was the same character. Partially, it was because of the Deathly Hallows sign he gives Credence, and they have very similar haircuts.

Overall, however, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” was the best film I’ve seen in a while. I look forward to seeing how they will continue the story in future movies, and develop the characters. For now, “Fantastic Beasts,” was a wonderful place to start this new and exciting story.

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Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them