Film review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (out on 18 November 2016)

Harry Potter spin off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a world class comeback of the Harry Potter franchise. It has all ingredients to please Harry Potter fans who have been waiting too long for this: magical creatures, special wizarding tricks (old and new), great villains, humour and drama. Once again JK Rowling hasn’t disappointed her aficionados.

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The story

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut and is an all-new adventure starring Eddie Redmayne (Oscar winner for The Theory of Everything) as magizoologist Newt Scamander who arrives in New York in 1926 after completing a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

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The verdict

The cast is extraordinary and expected to be so for such a popular franchise. The film reunites a number of people from the Harry Potter features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo, Jenn Murray, Faith Wood-Blagrove, and Colin Farrell under the direction of David Yates (the last four Harry Potter features). Johnny Depp has a cameo in the film… go and watch it to figure it out. I cannot tell you the exact nature of his role without spoiling the whole film. He is unsurprisingly brilliant and his appearance leaves an opening for him to have an important part in future films of this franchise. I say no more!

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The special effects are incredible! I read the original Comic Relief book Fantastic beasts where Newt (the main character) describes all fantastic creatures in great detail and I was totally impressed to see them so well visualised in the film. I dare say that the movie is better than the book. 

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For those who have never read Harry Potter books or watched previous films, it is difficult to follow the story at the beginning. But then the story develops its own plot and becomes interesting even to non Harry Potter fans (are there any at all out there?). In fact the new movie could attract new fans altogether. The new series of movies will certainly boost what is already an incredibly popular series.

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The character who creates most humorous scenes is wannabe baker chubby Joseph (played by Dan Fogler) who is truly hilarious. My son Diego said that he was his favourite fantastic creature in the film as humans are also described as the worst kind of ‘beasts’.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is rated PG-13 (Parents are strongly alerted) for magical evil and all that it suggests. A few scenes are quite brutal especially when one of the children becomes evil (literally) and reminds me of a scene from The Exorcist which was not exactly a film suitable for children.

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The trailers and featurettes

 

London Mums’ Star Rating

London Mums who are Harry Potter’s fans: 10/10

London Mums who are not Harry Potter’s fans: 8/10

The film is so good that it has a great appeal even to those who haven’t got a clue of the world’s most famous wizard. It is pure escapism.

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Here is my fantastic creature escaping from Newt’s luggage… Let’s get him back in 🙂

Here is 13 year old Chiara‘s brilliant review of the film:

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released in the UK on 18 November 2016 (distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures).

Harry Potter fans will love to also read these features:

J.K. Rowling revelations on the return of #HarryPotter & Fantastic Beasts

What to expect from the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Bros Studios

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About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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