review: fantastic beasts and where to find them (2016)

SYNOPSIS (IMDB): The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8.9/10

ACTING: 8/10 **
CINEMATOGRAPHY: 8.5/10
NARRATIVE/SCREENPLAY: 9.6/10 *
SCORE: 9.4/10

REVIEW IN ONE SENTENCE: I honestly probably wouldn’t be able to ever make a negative critique on anything Harry Potter – but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actually exceeded my expectations.

* I wasn’t expecting a “new Harry Potter” which is I think a lot of people’s downfalls when they go in to watch this movie. What I really appreciated about FB was that it held the perfect balance between being similar to the original HP series (through soundtrack, terms, magical visuals, etc.) that it was nostalgic – but also differentiated the style, pace, story, even some magical terms, to be able to stand alone as its own. I honestly think, if you have a friend who has never read or watched Harry Potter, if you just go through some simple HP terms (muggle/squib/spells) etc., they would be able to follow FB just fine. ALSO, I know there has been a lot of critique regarding pacing, and dragging on this film – with unnecessary scenes and such. I however really LOVE that JK Rowling and the writing team let us “stop and smell the flowers” along the ride. It was very refreshing to have these sort of light-hearted, quirky, and not so necessary scenes throughout. Such a relief, as so many films these days just try so hard to be serious.

** I don’t care what anyone says, I stand by my belief that Eddie Redmayne was indeed the perfect Newt Scamander. Yes he did sort of act similar to his performances in The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl, but that’s exactly how I envisioned Newt Scamander to be…. so in my eyes, he did just perfectly.

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