If you are one of the many huge fans of the Harry Potter saga, you will be happy to know that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was one of the most anticipated movies of the year, was released in France on the 16th of November. In this new feature film, David Yates adapts another screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and immerses us, once again, in the great magical world.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the witches and wizards imagined by British novelist J.K. Rowling are finally back on the wide screens. Yet, this time, there is neither Hogwarts castle nor Quidditch. In fact, this new movie is not about Harry Potter’s life at school and the resistance against Voldemort but it deals with the way Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, one of the textbooks used by the students at Hogwarts, was written. So, the spectators follow its author, Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), a British magizoologist, as he sets sail to the United States of America in order to look for rare species and protect them. He arrives in New York City during the Prohibition and he finds out that the American wizards are forced to hide so that the “No-Majs” (that is to say, the people who do not have magical abilities and were not born in magical families since, in America, the word “muggles” is not used) do not discover that they exist. With the help of a New Yorker witch called Tina (Katherine Waterston), her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) and a baker named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler); Newt chases, in spite of himself, a frightening creature which spreads terror in the city and threatens the secret of magic.
This new film is directed by David Yates who had already brilliantly adapted the last four movies of the Harry Potter saga. So, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them features the codes of the previous films. Thus, the two heroes, Newt and Harry, correspond to the traditional representation of British gentlemen who are usually described as respectful and loyal. The plot is also based on the same idealized vision of love and friendship that the fans seem to appreciate so much. Nonetheless, the spectators who are not familiar with the world of Harry Potter could have some troubles understanding the many weird words that are used and the numerous references to the books and movies.
Nevertheless, unlike David Yates’s latest feature film The Legend of Tarzan, this movie shows very beautiful computer generated pictures. The settings also faithfully recreate the peculiar atmosphere of the city of New York during the Roaring 20s and the special effects are, as a whole, pretty convincing. The fans will be thrilled to watch more of the impressive magical fight scenes that made the last movies of the Harry Potter saga successful. The 3D, which can seem anecdotal and useless in the rest of the film, makes them even more fascinating. Furthermore, even if they are quite strange, the fantastic beasts remain endearing. The movie also relies on a very brilliant cast and especially on the great performances of Eddie Redmayne, who is famous for having incarnated the first European transsexual person in The Danish Girl and who, here, plays a distinguished and courageous gentleman and adventurer; and of Alison Sudol as a fanciful American witch who can read minds.
Thus, despite a few imperfections, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them remains a very entertaining movie that the Harry Potter fans will adore and which marks the beginning of a new magical saga that promises to become one of the next greatest cinematographic successes.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, David Yates, United Kingdom, 2016, 2h13, released in Ireland on the 15th of November 2016, in France, Belgium and Switzerland on the 16th November 2016, in Lebanon on the 17th of November 2016 and in the United States of America and the United Kingdom on the 18th of November 2016.