Fantastic Beasts Delights



Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) and Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein) at a Comic-Con press conference.

By Balbina Yang, Arts Editor

Got bit by a Murtlap but don’t know how to treat it? Look no further than the newest released movie in the Harry Potter-verse, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

From the books to the movies, and the recent play, Harry Potter is no doubt a beloved hit among many. The recent movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander is no exception.

The film centers around a wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who comes to the U.S. from the U.K. for more magical creatures. During his stay, some of his creatures escape from his magical briefcase wreaking frenzy in the hearts of the No-Maj’s (non-magical people) of New York. He is discovered by an American witch, Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and together they attempt to capture all the escaped animals and fight a bigger threat in the city.

The film boasts many strong points, the strongest being Eddie Redmayne. Not much is known about Newt Scamander and even in the Harry Potter franchise, he is briefly mentioned as a famed author and magizoologist. However, with his tousled red locks and shy demeanor, Eddie effortlessly transforms something that was just a name into someone worth rooting for (and might I add, worth looking at).

Actors Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler, who play the witch, Tina Goldstein and the No-Maj, Jacob Kowalski, respectively also lend the film a pleasant surprise. Colin Farrell, who plays the main antagonist, Percival Graves, successfully plays off ambiguity with a stellar American accent.

With strong acting and surprising plot twists, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them not only offers a compelling story but also stunning visual effects, per usual in any Harry Potter film. Spells as colorful (yet powerful) bursts, silverware dancing in midair and strange new creatures like the mischievous but adorable Niffler give the newest addition the complete magical experience.

Despite the positives, however, there were a few negatives to the movie, primarily near the ending. It was too rushed, as if all the action was saved to the culminating moment, and the character development in Graves was a bit abrupt to show any sort of arc throughout the story. Not only that, but Waterston’s role is questionable in the beginning (her intentions with Newt are unclear), and even at the end, it is enough to question whether she was entirely necessary.

With new spells, new characters and a fresh new plot, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is yet another success. And because it takes place in the U.S., the film made the experience just that much closer to home.