by Diana Vaccarelli
*Be warned – this review may contain spoilers*
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is J.K. Rowling’s prequel to the Harry Potter books and takes place seventy years before them. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, one of the results of which is that going into this film I had high expectations. Would this film hold up?
- The creatures are made with careful thought and imagination. They’re the most realistic CGI critters yet. Watching this film, I definitely felt not just as though they could exist but that the ones I was seeing did exist.
- The performance of Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as Newt is stellar. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Everything I’ve seen him in has made me feel that he was perfectly cast in the role.
- The story went in a direction I was not expecting. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me say this: I was shocked by the character of Graves (portrayed brilliantly by Colin Farrell).
- The writing is everything I wanted from J.K Rowling. She gives us a story that stands comfortably on its own while also illuminating the “future” world of Harry Potter with perfection.
- Believe it or not there is something about this film that I didn’t like. That was the transition of Colin Farrell to Johnny Depp as the character Grindlewald. Colin Farrell was perfect in his portrayal throughout the film, and to end it with Johnny Depp taking over the character was a huge jolt. Especially since Depp certainly didn’t perform as well as Farrell.
- If you’re a fan of Harry Potter’s world of Witchcraft and Wizardry, then this film definitely is for you. It’s the perfect way to bring everything we love about Harry to this holiday season. (Except I still miss the boy, you know?)