Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the latest film from the harry potter universe and it was directed by David Yates who has also directed several of the Harry Potter films. However this film is set about 70 years before Harry became the boy who lived, instead the story is focused on Newt Scamander who is better known as the author of a book called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Tina, Newt, Queenie and Kowalski
When Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in 1920’s New York he brings with him a case full of magical creatures but a run in at a bank with Kowalski (Dan Fogler) a no-maj (american for muggle) sees several of Newt’s creatures escaping into the city. However before he can complete this task he is intercepted by Tina (Katherine Waterston) from the Magical Congress of the United States of America or MACUSA for short.
Kowalski is the audiences entry point into this world of magic and through his interactions with Newt, Tina and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) that we get to learn about the relationship between muggle and magic community. He is also a delightful character and brings a good amount of comic relief to the film plus he has one of the most emotional and uplifting parts of the entire film.
Kowalski and Newt
The history of the american magical community and their relationship with the humans (muggles) plays a big part of the backdrop of this film. Especially when it comes to Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) and Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) who are part of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group whose activities are intertwined with the overall story of finding the fantastic beasts.
Those fantastic beasts include a large blue-and-green winged magical creature called Swooping Evil, a little plant creature known as a Bowtruckle who is excellent at picking locks and a Niffler who is attracted to shiny objects which causes chaos in this film. There are also a ton of other creatures throughout this film and all of them are beautifully created and wonderful to behold.
Graves and Credence
Another character worth mentioning is Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) , the Director of Magical Security at MACUSA. He is a powerful magician and an important part of the film even though he is not actually in that much of the film. However he certainly makes an impact every time he is on screen and I really liked his interactions with Credence and Newt in particular.
What I like about this film is that it feels like I am back in the world of Harry Potter while also experiencing something new. There is a fair amount of exposition and setting up for future events but that is to be expected in a new series and I have to say that they made a really good start. The story works well and I loved all the characters and I can’t wait to see what happens next.