Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
Years before Harry, Ron, and Hermione graced the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the wizarding world was already in full swing. In this newest addition to JK Rowling’s repertoire, we are introduced to one Newt Scamander. Mr Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a young English wizard (and a Hufflepuff) with a fascination for all magical creatures under the class of beast. His travels take him to 1926 America. Through a series misfortunate occurrences, Newt has the great opportunity of meeting witch sisters Porpentina ‘Tina’ (Kathrine Waterson) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), and nomaj (the American term for a muggle), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler).
Eddie Redmayne is positively adorable in his portrayal of Newt. With his long blue coat, bowtie, and pleasant, if quiet, mannerisms, Newt is a stereotypical English gentleman. His character is all the more obvious when stood alongside Dan Fogler’s Jacob. Jacob, while still a gentleman, is much more outwardly confident and talkative. In one scene, Jacob’s charisma and Newt’s honest curiosity are beautifully displayed in their body language as they carry a conversation; Jacob making sure that Newt is still there and interested, while Newt is constantly angled towards his friend, showing undisrupted attention and interest.
The movie is based loosely off the text book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by Newt and supplied to Hogwarts students in the Harry Potter films. The original book covers all types of magical creatures from all over the globe.
Being set in the 20s, the costumes for this film are gorgeous. Suits and bowties, dresses, and fancy attire for evenings out are all included. This, along with the sets of 1920s New York, make for a visually magical movie, even before you add the wands and beasts.
If you have never seen a Harry Potter movie, don’t let that stop you from seeing Fantastic Beasts. While there is plenty in this newest Rowling creation for hardcore Potter fans to find, it’s also a whole new set of stories. The first of five films currently planned, this new franchise will bring new material for old fans, and a doorway for new ones.
So grab you wands, try to resist the cuteness that is a niffler, and checkout Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” – Newt Scamander