The First In The Fantastic Beasts Series By JK Rowling

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The BRWC Review: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series which will include another 4 films.  The films are spin offs and prequels to the Harry Potter film series and the first is set in New York in 1926. The film was produced and written by J. K. Rowling and inspired by her book of the same name and is her first big screen outing as screen writer.  Based on a schoolbook that Harry Potter and friends studied during their time at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fans of the Potter franchise are in for a treat with a series of brand new wizarding stories.

The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander who is an eccentric magizoologist (study of magical creatures) and completely inhabits his character of a bit of a loner with a secret past he is keeping tight lipped about so far. His qwirky character is perfect for the role but would also make a great Doctor Who. Katherine Waterston plays Porpentina Goldstein (Tina) who is Newts future wife.  She works for the American version of the Ministry of Magic called MACUSA. She has a younger sister called Queenie who has the ability to read minds. Comedian Dan Fogler plays Jacob, the lead Muggle character or rather “No-Maj” as they are called in America. He plays a good-natured aspiring baker who’s introduced to the wizarding world through his friendship with Newt. Colin Farrell plays Percival Graves, Director of Magical Security at MACUSA and Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.  Finally Johnny Depp has a short but brilliant cameo role which sets him up for a more prominent role in the next instalment where he plays the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

The plot of this highly entertaining film centre’s around four friends, Newt, Tina, her sister Queenie and no-maj Jacob.  It starts with English wizard Newt entering New York carrying a weathered suitcase. His case is similar to the one in Mary Poppins which is way bigger on the inside and carries an expansive collection of rare and endangered magical creatures which accidently get released into the city.  As he tries to recapture the creature he becomes friends with Tina and Queenie and no-maj Jaboc.  He upsets the American wizarding authorities with his friendship with Jabob and because of his creatures getting escaping and soon discovers that the wizarding community are seriously fearful of exposure from the no-maj folk.  The majority of the film is based around the friends trying to recapture the beasts which are causing havoc in the city. As you would expect the special effects are mind blowing with all the beasts created using CGI.

The film has received mainly positive reviews and gives the breath of fresh life to the Potter franchise. As Rowling’s screenwriting debut, there seems to be no end to her talent.  Fans around the world that can’t wait for the next instalment can get their kicks from visiting locations used in the potter films. Movie location tours are great for fans and for tourism. Brit Movie Tours is the UK’s premier TV and movie tour company offering a number of harry potter tours including their harry potter London studio tour which is an all day tour (9 hours).  The tour takes fans to locations in central London including the Leaky Cauldron, Ministry of Magic and the bridge destroyed by Death Eaters. The second part of the tour is a visit to the Warner Bros Studio where you will see actual sets used in the filming of the Harry Potter series including the Great Hall, Diagon Alley and Hagrid’s Hut. There are plenty of photo opportunities including sitting in the famous flying Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  For those what want to visit the sites used for Hogwarts, then the 2 hour Oxford Harry Potter tour is a must as you get to see all 3 colleges used in the films.

Rowling is already working on the next film in the Fantastic Beasts series and is set to be released in November 2018. Perhaps she will even have a go at directing as it seems there is little she can fail at.  One thing for sure is that Rowling is going to be very busy for the next few years which fans will be delighted to hear.

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