Before a few days we have shared the list of some of the upcoming English movies which we are keen to watch here.
I am glad to say that from our team, I have got a chance to watch Fantastic beasts and where to find them. It is based on the book of the same name by J K Rowling. While I watched it in English – 3D, my fellow teammate watched it in Hindi-3D, and our views and reviews for the film are almost identical :).
|Movie||:||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
|Produced by||:||David Heyman, J. K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram|
|Written by||:||J. K. Rowling|
|Based on||:||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling|
|Music By||:||James Newton Howard|
|Production Company||:||Heyday Films|
|Distributed by||:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
15 November 2016 (Dublin),
18 November 2016 (UK & USA)
|Starring||:||Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Katherine Waterston (Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Colin Farrell (Percival Graves), Carmen Ejogo (President Seraphina Picquery),Samantha Morton (Mary Lou Barebone), Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), Ron Perlman (Gnarlack), Jon Voight (Henry Shaw Sr.), Josh Cowdery (Henry Shaw Jr.), Ronan Raftery (Langdon Shaw), Faith Wood-Blagrove (Modesty), Jenn Murray (Chastity), Sean Cronin (Criminal), Gemma Chan, Zoë Kravitz, and others…|
While the books were through and through English, this time she takes the magic to the New World, i.e., USA in the time period set between the two world wars. Instead of Ministry of Magic we’ll have “Magical Congress of the United States of America” and muggles will be called No-majs.
As the opening credits roll, we are shown glimpses of magical papers that all scream about evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald’s escape from his prison in Europe.
The story starts as Newt Scamander (Eddi Redmayne) lands on New York port and goes through the customs with his bag full of magic. As we go out in the New York of 1926, he comes across a group where a woman, called Samantha Morton, is encouraging a group of people to fight the increasing “witch” population that’s living hidden in USA and releasing the unseen magical force that’s creating havoc through the city. Right away, we see that Samntha and his family of adopted children including one boy called Credence and two girls is surrounded by mysterious forces.
While Eddie is not quite paying attention to where he is going, his bag gets exchanged with a no-Maj (non- magical people) called Jacob Kowalski, who is going to a bank to ask for loan for opening a bakery. Now, what place is better than bank for a Niffler that wants to escape. As harry Potter fans would know, a Niffler is a small animal that is attracted by anything shiny, e.g., gold coins, jewellery etc. While Newt is chasing his Niffler that has just gone into the strong room of the bank, he ends up exposing his magical powers to Jacob and the staff of the bank. Tina, an ex-auror, who has been following him, takes him away and arrests him for breaking the statute of secrecy.
And off they go to the American equivalent of ministry of magic called ‘Magical Congress of United States of America’ or MCUSA for short. The place looks awesome on screen. We find that Tina is in quite a disgrace there and while she tries to prove her case to stern looking “Madame President” (a hopeful take on the recent American elections?!!) by opening Newt’s bag, it’s full of bread. Yup, the cases appear to have been exchanged again and Tina’s credit with the MCUSA goes one notch down.
On the other hand, Jacob comes home and opens his bag, and out comes the raft of fantastic creatures. A Murtlap bites him and while he is fighting it, a fair few things escape. Tina and Newt sense the disturbance and have no choice but to take Jacob with them while they come to recover Newt’s bag.
Tina takes them all to her home where she lives with her sister Queenie, who is also a foodie and a legilimens. So, out come the secrets from both newt and Jacob’s minds. The girls try to make them at home, but Newt can barely wait to be alone, so he can visit his animals and find out exactly what’s escaped and running loose in New York.
So, with the nightfall, Newt takes Jacob inside his bag (yup, that’s right). Like Hermione‘s bag in ‘”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows“, this bag is holding almost an entire different world, with habitats for all the lovely animals that Newt has found during his travels and is now nurturing while he writes a book on them. He reveals to Jacob that his main reason of coming to America is to release a majestic bird like creature that belongs to the wilds of Arizona, but was smuggled by traders to Egypt and kept locked in a cage there.
We find out that Newt is essentially a nature lover, who thinks that these creatures are beautiful and sometimes threatened by the wizard kind for their magical properties – a bit like the devastation humans are wrecking on the species of animals world wide right now. As he says to Jacob about his escaped creatures:
Right now, they are in alien territory, surrounded by the most evil of the animals, Humans.
Once he has done the inventory and fed the rest, Newt and Jacob go to central park to look for missing animals. And after one very entertaining sequence after another, between Jacob, himself and Tina, they manage to find most of them.
Meanwhile, the unseen evil force strikes again, and this time it murders an “influential- president-in-making” politician right in the middle of a very public speech. There is an outrage against all things magical and MCUSA goes to a state of emergency. Believing that this evil is a beast, Tina hands over Newt and his suitcase to the Ministry of Magic, where they are both handed over to Mr Graves (Collin Ferrell).
Now, Mr Graves also is a strange kind of wizard. He frequently visits Credence, the odd boy who was adopted by Samanta, a magic hating No-Maj, who regularly beats him. Credence is Mr Graves’ link to a child with incredible magical power. Mr Graves has had visions of this child and he is on lookout for it for special purposes.
So, he is ecstatic to find an Obscurious amongst Newt’s possessions and very promptly sentences both of them to death. We also discover that Newt was expelled from Hogwarts due to an accident with a magical beast (yup, very similar to Hagrid and Aragog), but Dumbledore supported him.
What happens next is to be watched on screen because you have to have answers to these questions: What is an Obscurious and Obscurial? Who is Mr Graves? How will Newt and Tina escape, because they are the leading pair, surely they can’t die. Why was Tina disgraced and suspended from her work as an Auror? Is Newt really in love with Lida Lestrange? And what will happen to the magical community in New York once they are discovered.
J K Rowling has proved once again what a fantastic story-teller she is, no matter whether it is a book or a screenplay. J K Rowling is completely in command as the writer of the film. The script itself is gripping and it makes it equally interesting for adults as well as children.
David Yates understand J. K. Rowling’s work (and vision) effectively and have got expertise in making it live on celluloid. As the captain of the ship (he have directed this movie), he did commendable job.
Those who are not familiar with Harry Potter franchise (and especially the magic and non-magic worlds) may need to pay more attention while watching it. Though, it is not necessary to have watched Harry Potter movies as a strict pre-requisite.
The special effects are the most important part of the movie and it excels in that term. Also it is the most convincing 3D film (in terms of 3D viewing) I have seen till date.
The makers are able to create New York of the story time quite well. The wardrobe is authentic as well. Also see the Dockyards, and immigration checking, banking etc. process and you will feel, how the things were during that period.
In terms of acting almost everyone delivers fantastic performances and may be naming one will be unjust to the rest of the cast. However we must say that the movie is on the shoulders of Eddie Redmayne and he is in full form. He got good support from Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol. Dan Fogler is a delight to watch. Colin Farrell is a good actor and we are familiar with his screen presence through some nice films he did. He is here to compete the protagonist on all fronts and he succeeds. See him fighting with his wand and you will find him convincing. Jon Voight makes his presence felt in small role. Ezra Miller need not to show much expressions in the early segment of the movie, and only a few in the climax. Though, he is good.
The background music is good and it adds to the positives of the movie. Especially it’s weaving with SFX is really good.
The film is an absolute treat, its funny, its thrilling, it has incredibly complex characters and intertwined storylines that will go on for a while. Once again, her characters seem to be going through similar quests that complete the circle in the end. It’s richly detailed and considering period dramas are so in, it scores on the background of New York in 1926 as well.
By the way, following are the Beasts which are mentioned in the book. Of course, it is not possible to explore them all in the movie.
|Fantastic Beasts mentioned in the book:|
|Basilisk||Hippogriff||Pogrebin||Common Welsh Green|
|Chizpurfle||Kappa||Red Cap||Romanian Longhorn|
The film is to be extended in a 5 films franchise according to this reference.
The second film in the series is set in Paris. Johnny Depp is confirmed to be playing Gellert Grindelwald, and will have a starring role in the sequel. Will we be able to see the legendary duel between Albus Dumbledore and Grindlewald in the movie? Let us get our fingers crossed :).
Yay, the eagerly awaited fantastic film is here and it does live upto its name. Thanks to the brilliant writing by J K Rowling and the awesome computer generated graphics the film is an absolute treat, both in terms of screenplay and cinematography.
An absolutely fantastic film and must watch. If you have the option of 3-D, it’s totally worth it. 9 out of 10.
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