It has been five years since the world has been dazzled by the cinematic greatness of the movies based on J.K. Rowling’s novels. Harry Potter fans everywhere have been patiently waiting for the outstanding author to either continue the beloved series or give us something else to obsess over. On November 18, 2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released into theaters.
Set in a time before Harry Potter almost gave his life to save the wizarding world from Lord Voldemort, Fantastic Beasts tells the story of young Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne). Expelled from Hogwarts for being too interested in the beasts hidden within the world, Newt has a passion for preserving and learning about the mysterious creatures that no one is willing to understands. He takes a trip to the USA for the first time in search of the proper home of one of his beloved creatures. Upon arriving in New York things begin to go awry when Newt’s magical suitcase get switched with that of a No-Maj (or Muggle as we have been accustomed). A few of his beasts are let out of their sanctuaries and begin running wild throughout the New York streets. This is a particularly bad time for the creatures to be let loose due to the disappearance of the dark wizard, Gellert Grindlewald (played by Johnny Depp).
Before Lord Voldemort, Grindlewald decided that the wizarding world did not need to be kept a secret from the Muggles/No-Majs. He felt that wizards were powerful enough to be able to rule over the non-magical beings. Of course, not everyone felt this way and Grindlewald used the Elder Wand (one of the three Deathly Hallows) to wipe out any wizard or witch that defied him.
It was a blast to watch Newt, sisters Tina and Queenie, and their No-Maj friend Jacob go on an amazing adventure to protect Newt’s lost creatures and the city of New York from more than one evil force. There was a steady flow of action that kept watchers on their toes. Heartstrings were tugged as we watched the romantic relationship between several unexpected characters blossom in drastic ways. What was most interesting was that the movie was able to touch on important issues such as emotional and physical abuse in several different dynamics.
Fantastic Beasts held all the magic and drama that we have become to expect from the amazing duo of producer David Yates and author JK Rowling form. Making $219.9 million during it’s opening weekend and receiving a 6.8/10 from rotten tomatoes, the movie certainly held its own against the pressure that the preceding movies placed upon its shoulders. However, some might argue that the movie was slow and took too long to build up to the culminating scene. Either way, the popularity of Fantastic Beasts continues to grow with the announcement that J.K. Rowling will be screenwriting a total of five movies about Newt and the adventures he got up to. It is rumored that we will be able to get a glimpse of the infamous battle between Grindlewald and Dumbledore. At this point we can only pacify our excitement with watching the other eight J.K. Rowling films over and over again.