Many muggles fell in love with the enchanted world of Harry Potter, and were left yearning for more at the end of the Deathly Hallows. Well, J.K. Rowling has brought us another immersive story that will fill your heart with all kinds of wizardly goodness. We were so excited to be able to see a special Warner Bros. screening of J.K. Rowling’s newest feature that dives back into the Potterverse – FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. Hope you enjoy our take on the movie. And don’t worry, we won’t spoil anything for you.
FANTASTIC BEASTS takes place in 1926 New York City. We meet Newt Scamander, a British wizard who steps off the boat in New York to find the city on the verge of war between the wizard community and the No-Maj (American Muggle). He has brought along his suitcase full of fantastic beasts who accidentally get loose in the city due to a mix up with a No-Maj named Jacob.
The main characters in this movie were perfectly cast. The chemistry between them really reminded me of the chemistry we saw in the Potter films. Each of the main characters were so different, yet really created a wonderful ensemble.
Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, is an introverted eccentric wizard who specializes in Magizoology. He is an extreme animal lover who has devoted his life to saving all mythical creatures. Does this remind you at all of Luna Lovegood? Maybe that quirkiness is a distinguishable sign of a wizard who loves all creatures. If you follow Harry Potter lore, you may already know the connection between the two characters, but we won’t spoil it and let you find out on your own. Eddie Redmayne was so charming in this role. As soon as he steps onto the screen the audience quickly fell in love with him.
Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein, played by Katherine Waterston, is an American witch who was once an Auror, and after a mysterious incident was demoted to Wand Permit Officer by the president of the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America). She witnesses Newt using magic in front of No-Maj and tries to bring him in front of the president for prosecution to win back her position in the MACUSA to no avail. She and Newt discover his suitcase has been switched and begin an adventure through the city trying to collect his mythical creatures. Tina is a strong character who shows throughout the movie that she will always do what is right no matter what the cost.
Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, is the wide eyed No-Maj who accidentally got caught up in the mythical beast mishap when his suitcase accidentally got switched with Newt’s magical case. He is a kind-hearted man who just want to get a loan from the bank to open a bakery with this Grandmother’s recipes. This character was so endearing. It was no wonder that Tina’s sister, Queenie, falls in love with him. Even though he has never seen magic before he and Newt develop a quick friendship and he risks everything to help his new found friends save the creatures and wrestle with dark forces.
Queenie Goldstein, played by Alison Sudol, is the younger sister of Tina. She is a kind-hearted bombshell specializing in the art of Legilimency. She reads minds, but admits the accent makes it hard to read the thoughts of British people. She quickly falls in love with Jacob’s naive charm, and how much of a gentle soul he is. Alison Sudol was amazing in this role. She was able to portray a sultry character without demeaning Queenie in any way.
Like any good Rowling story, the movie is full of twists and turns. It has lots of humor that is sprinkled in to lighten the mood of some of the more intense scenes. But still offers lots of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie ended with plenty of room for a sequel, and we left the theater already wanting more. There are lots of details in the movie that you may miss the first time you see it. This is definitely a movie you will want to see more than once to catch the little Potter nuggets that were sprinkled throughout.
All of the main characters are so likeable and endearing. It’s hard not to love them all. I would even dare say you will find yourself getting attached to them almost as much as Harry, Ron and Hermoine. Overall we really enjoyed this movie and can’t wait to add it to our Harry Potter DVD collection so we can watch it over and over again!