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"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Review

By Anya Aidun and Laura Brack in Arts & Culture


"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

This review contains spoilers.


It’s been six years since the release of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II,” and in that time, some magic has been missing from the world. But with the recent release of “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” that magic has come back. Newt Scamander, armed with a magical briefcase, travels to America with the intent of bringing a magical creature to where it belongs. Along the way, he makes friendships with the Goldstein sisters, as well a a no-maj (that’s American for “muggle”) named Jacob Kowalski, and gets tangled into unexpected troubles.


In a movie called “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” the beasts really are fantastic. From the niffler, a money hungry mole, to the baby Groot-like Bowtruckle, to the glowing golden thunderbird, JK Rowling (who wrote the screenplay) has beautifully crafted another corner of the wizarding world.


Throughout the movie there are so many nifty scenes that “Harry Potter” fans can really can understand and connect with. Ezra Miller, for starters, brings a much needed diversity of characters. His Credence Barebone is troubled and tortured and you just want to give him warm hugs. Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, meanwhile, was the perfect audience surrogate, and while he was a source of comic relief, he wasn’t a stupid American/no-maj stereotype.


The Goldstein sisters, Tina and Queenie, meanwhile, are absolutely awesome. Charismatic and witty, they stand out from the typical damsels in distress. Tina with her brave ambition and quick brain flawlessly works her way into the plot, saving lives as she goes along the way. Queenie may be the more feminine of the two, but she’s got it weaponized, using it to charm her way out of dangerous situations.


The houses were very well depicted through the movies. Scamander was an awesome depiction Hufflepuff personality, and the movie depicts many other amazing houses through character development. Characters in “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” nit picked the characteristic that the houses obtained.


The movie’s main antagonist isn’t really revealed until the very end of the movie, and oh, what a reveal it is. Colin Farrell was revealed to be Johnny Depp the entire time! Granted, it wasn’t just Magical Johnny Depp, it was Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, but still, it was a bit of a jarring moment. Why couldn’t they have kept Colin Farrell? He was incredibly slimy and almost predatory towards Credence, and it was creeptastic. Johnny Depp probably will be equally sketchy, but he’ll also bring a lot of Johnny Depp that wasn’t there before.


So overall, save for a few not-so-amazing moments, “Fantastic Beasts” is pretty magical. If you're a major fan of Harry Potter series, or anything that involves the amazing world of witchcraft and wizardry you will definitely keep “re-watching” this one!

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