Fantastic Beasts Brings New Approach To Harry Potter Universe
Here’s the thing, there are eight Harry Potter films, which author J.K. Rowling has played a huge role in bringing to the silver screen. With that being said, these films kind of take on a formulaic approach. Our hero, Harry is abused by the Muggles (non-magical folks) and then goes to Hogwarts with his best mates and hijinks and adventures ensue as he tries to save the magical world from Lord Voldemort. The formula isn’t bad, in fact it’s comforting like your favorite blanket.
All that being said, Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has to be probably one of the best Harry Potter movies made. For those who don’t know the back story behind the film, and it’s forthcoming film saga, Newt Scamander’s role in the Harry Potter universe didn’t include any appearances in the previous 7 books or movies with the exception of a few lines in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone where Harry had to buy Mr. Scamander’s book—Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
However, Rowling knew there was a whole saga waiting to unfold for Mr. Scamander and the introductory film brings the magic of the Harry Potter universe and some new tricks as well to make this a delightful experience.
The film follows Scamander as he braves a 1926 New York City where No-Majs (Non-magical people) are heavily against wizards and including a group of 1920s Salem witch hunters using heavy propaganda against magical beings. While that isn’t the main plot of the story, it’s definitely tied into the film and shows how impressive Rowling’s imagination is in her first screenplay. Viewers get to experience an era piece, beautifully capturing a 1920s version of one of America’s most iconic cities, as well as a magical speakeasy.
What makes this film different from the other Harry Potter films is the tone that Rowling has set. This film is a bit darker, there are some executions and even cases of child abuse. It’s definitely darker than an average Harry Potter film and it suits it perfectly. There are also a lot of references that old school Potter fans will come to enjoy throughout the film and cause a lot of anticipation for the projected sequel which should hit in 2018. The soundtrack, like all Harry Potter films, is memorable and captures what’s going on perfectly. The jazzy 1920s themed music is a break from the normal HP vibe but it’s definitely a plus.
Eddie Redmayne (Scamander) takes quirky to a whole new level as he tries to capture many of his creatures who’ve escaped. His relationship with Tina Goldstein, a former Auror, is perfect as both compliment each other on screen and leave you wanting more.
Rowling showed that she is not a “one-trick pony” when it comes to the Wizarding World and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find them is evidence of that. As much as this story is about a new beginning for Newt Scamander, it’s also a new beginning for all of the Harry Potter fans and Rowling herself and it nailed the landing.