Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell and Ezra Miller

Empire: 3 stars                                                        Rotten Tomatoes:76%

 What has the director done before? `
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is directed by David Yates, the original director of the final four Harry Potter Films. Outside of directing the Harry Potter films (and its spin-offs), David Yates recently directed the Legend of Tarzan which was commercially successful but critically bashed. It is strange that the Director of one of the biggest movie franchises in history has directed more television films than he has theatrical films. The development of Fantastic Beasts might have been hindered by his lack of diversity and experience in directing anything other than the Harry Potter Series. It would be curious to get a genre-bending director such as Ron Howard who has experience leading, fantasies, thrillers and comedies to direct Fantastic Beasts.

Who would watch this?
If you were the same age as Harry Potter when the film series began, it is very hard to separate the sentimental and nostalgic feelings attached to anything to do with the movies. If you enjoyed reading the books and watching the films, you’d be compelled to watch Fantastic Beasts.

Harry Potter captured the imagination of thousands of children. It was a childhood dream of many to be whisked away to Wizarding school, perhaps without a dark lord trying to destroy everything they loved.

If you missed the Harry Potter train it is difficult to jump back on. To be judgemental, it is fascinating and kind of sad when someone goes out there way to express their complete dislike for Harry Potter with a sense of pride, sweeping it under the rug as something childish. There is nothing to be proud of a lack of imagination. Yes, you can dislike a film but when hating the film infers a form of intellectual superiority, it becomes a very strange competition of who can express their repugnance the most. All Harry Potter film fans have probably found themselves in the midst of a circle of haters, too scared to admit the magical words “I like Harry Potter.”

Who gave the best performance?
Ezra Miller and Emily Watson of the New Salem Philanthropic Society were the perfect actors to play members of a fanatic cult. They naturally have a combination of quirkiness and darkness, making them the most interesting and layered characters of the film, the scenes with the two of them together were the most thought provoking.

Should there be a sequel? `
Yes, of course, there is going to be a sequel, it’s cash in time. The first Fantastic Beasts movie is a universe building film; you are introduced to new characters which you know nothing about, so it’s hard to feel for them and their troubles. Hopefully, the next few films give’s audiences a real reason to care about the fate of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne).

Could it have been better?
Well, it was always going to be underwhelming to fans of the original Harry Potter films, there are many aspects of the film that are changeable. The film was over sentimental and too long for characters we have only mildly introduced too, the dialogue was a bit stale as well. If there is anything the Harry Potter films have taught me is not to give up hope.

 

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