friendly-critic

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (aka. Snakes in a Teapot)

Release: November 2016

Yesterday, a wizard entered New York with a case. A case full of magical creatures. And unfortunately, some have escaped.

– Porpentina Goldstein

For this classic adventure, we travel to New York in the 1920s alongside Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his mysterious suitcase of Fantastic Beasts. Roll credits. (I need to stop watching CinemaSins) On his first day in the Big Apple, Scamander meets Porpentina  “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a witch and former auror for the Magical Congress of the United States of America and inadvertently switches suitcases with Jacob  Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a no-maj or muggle who accidentally releases some of Scamander’s creatures risking the exposure of the magical community.

Redmayne’s performance as the timid and compassionate Newt is compelling enough to keep you engrossed in the movie. He cares so intensely about his creatures and every moment one is in peril, you feel it, even all the way at the back of the cinema. Fresh off an award-nominated role in Inherent Vice, Waterston’s Tina complimented Redmanye beautifully. Initially determined to regain position within MACUSA, Tina’s motivation soon changes and she finds herself helping Newt for reasons different from when she started.

I don’t think I’m dreaming.

– Jacob Kowalski

A stand out performance came from Fogel’s Kowalski as the humorous sidekick of Newt Scamander. As a no-maj, Kowalski’s lack of understanding of the magical world make for an entertaining watch. Secretly an idealist, Kowalski becomes a part of the community and commits to helping his new friends, despite being completely normal. There’s hope for us all.

Though a different tale and a different time, the underlying magic of the Harry Potter universe remains the same.

Verdict: Is there anything Eddie Redmayne can’t do?

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