Last night I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the first installment in a new franchise set within the Harry Potter Universe we all know and love. I have to say, while I'm a longtime fan of the #HarryPotter books and enjoyed the majority of the Harry Potter films, I thought this new series could be in a bit of trouble, and indeed it would have been if this first film wasn't pulled off to perfection. But it was, really and truly this was a triumph, and so here are five reasons to go see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them!
1. The Original Story
This film is set within the Harry Potter universe, but there is a difference between this extravagant new adventure and the previous series, and that is the way the original story was written. While the Harry Potter films were almost universally well regarded, they were also constantly under scrutiny for being different to the books #JKRowling wrote, and because of this many fans of the books got angry at the films and their tendency to go "off script." But that can't happen now because J.K. Rowling wrote this film AS a film! That means she could fill it with the action and comedy that works on screen, as opposed to what works written down. This is infinitely better than writing a book and having to adapt it for the screen by shoehorning in extra action and everything else. As such, you find yourself constantly enthralled in this film in the same way you are immediately taken the first time you open a Harry Potter book, because you're being drawn in by this amazing story for the very first time.
2. The Cast
I have to say, Eddie Redmayne is one of my favorite actors in the world right now. In the space of three years this man has starred in films such as TheTheoryOfEverything, TheDanishGirl, and now this, and every time he absolutely nails it. He's so diverse, and #NewtScamander is no different. Along for the ride with Redmayne are the likes of Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell, all of who pull off excellent performances alongside him with characters who all seem to be more developed than you could think possible at the start of the film.
3. The Magic
Yes, I mean the magic of seeing this world being brought to life again, but also the magic in the film itself. While the Harry Potter films had plenty of dueling and use of magic, the majority of the time we were watching children trying to learn how to harness their powers. In this film we are watching adults dueling and fighting and using magic in such inventive ways. The battles and action sequences are exactly what I imagine J.K. Rowling's dreams are like, and it is so visually stunning you'll be taken aback by it often. You also get to hear a lot of things about the history of magic and so much about the differences in the laws between modern-day Britain and 1920s America.
4. The Comedy
I have to say, I really never realized quite how dry the Harry Potter films were until I watched #FantasticBeasts. J.K. Rowling has a wonderful sense of humor and the Harry Potter books prove that, but it was something rather lost in translation with the films and I'm delighted to say that it didn't with this installment. This film didn't just shoehorn in comedy between serious events, it made it flow naturally, making the film brilliantly charismatic while still allowing the incredibly serious themes to flow through. Speaking of which...
5. The Social Conscience
There's no doubt that J.K. Rowling is a brilliant social commentator; her work has always reflected this, but this film is something else. In the modern day of magic — where the Harry Potter story is set — there is still discrimination against house elves and such things, but Fantastic Beasts showcases a time when wizards were hunted by the muggle community, and a moral debate raged among wizards over whether they should be hiding in fear of discovery or waging war against the muggles (or no-majes for you Americans out there). It's just fascinating to see what Rowling does with this sort of society, where such intolerant people live on both sides, it's a sight to behold.
No doubt you've seen all the possible trailers for Fantastic Beasts, but have you seen this video mashup alongside the live-action trailer for Beauty and the Beast?
For more original video content, check out Movie Pilot Video right here.
And that's it! Seriously folks, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is one of the highlight films of the year for the whole family, and brings so much to the table that it's amazing how the film doesn't even feel overcrowded despite everything that it manages to fit in. Seen the film? Agree with my analysis? Let me know in the comments and check out The Comical Theory on Facebook and Twitter!