Film Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
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So… Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, aka the film absolutely nobody asked for, but good old J. K. is going to shove down our throats anyway, right? That’s certainly the opinion I’ve heard voiced the most, and I too was amongst the naysayers, but I have to admit that albeit reluctantly I was charmed. Charmed. We start off with a slightly clunky newspaper clipping montage to set the scene: New York in the ‘20s. It’s exposition for those less than engaged fans who haven’t read up on the history of magic in North America on Pottermore, so we’ll forgive it. It also introduces the fact that Grindelwald is on the loose. Remember Dumbledore’s old bosom buddy who turned out to basically be a magic Nazi? Yeah, that’s who we’re dealing with here. Basically Voldemort mark 1 is on the loose, and there’s a mysterious beast causing havoc in New York. Cue our hero. National treasure Eddie Redmayne basically plays his bumbling, slightly awkward but ultimately endearing self. He’s one of those actors you forget wasn’t in the Harry Potter films anyway, so he fits right in. He sure does love those animals a whole lot, and it actually gets pretty moving at times, which sounds ridiculous, but I’m not even joking. The bulbous glowing rhino thing, the huge snake-bird things, the funny little pilfering mole thing - Redmayne acts the hell out of having a genuine emotional connection to all of them. Okay, fine, I’m downplaying for comedic effect - the beasts were pretty fantastic. The filmmakers certainly didn’t pass up the opportunity to go wild with their imaginations and come up with some cool little critters. Cinematographically, though the streets of NYC in November are pretty drab, we’re treated to some incredible shots of these animals in their natural landscapes - it really is something to see!
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