Fantastic Beasts And A Movie To Find Them In

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Emily Grasso, Assistant Editor

I have a confession to make: I have never read a single Harry Potter book, and the only movie I have seen is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But when I first saw the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I knew I wanted to go and see it. Magic in the 1920s? That sounded right up my (diagon) alley.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows Newt Scamander and his magical suitcase around New York City. But after he accidentally leaves it open “just a smidge,” a few of his beloved beasts escape and begin to wreak havoc. Notable beasts are the Niffler, which is reminiscent of a platypus and has an affinity for collecting sparkly objects in its pouch, and the Bowtruckle, one of which has an extra special attachment to Newt.

Fantastic Beasts is JK Rowling’s first screenplay. The writing is dramatic and develops the plot at the right speed with a splendid buildup to its plot twists. But it wasn’t without its more lighthearted scenes. She has written some of the most spot-on humorous dialogue I have heard in a while. The CGI and overall visuals were also commendable, adding to the magic and whimsy of the film.

The actors’ strengths were clearly in the subtlety of their acting choices and the understanding of their complex character motivation. Each character’s individual arc was given time and attention, and I found myself falling in love with all of them. Costuming was done by the Oscar-winning Colleen Atwood. All of the main characters’ coats matched the rest of their outfits and even their personalities.

After experiencing this fantastical world, I believe I have found my new favorite movie. I went in expecting a typical Harry Potter-esque film and came out with my head spinning about no-majs and the MACUSA. I would give it a (probably heavily biased) 5 out of 5 and recommend everyone to go out and see it over break. Let Newt Scamander welcome you into the American Wizarding World.