Harry Potter fans rejoice! Five years after the Deathly Hallows Part II, finally our favourite wizarding world is back on our screens with J.K Rowling’s incredible spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; and traditional Harry Potter fans will definitely not be disappointed!
Directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows the main character Newt Scamander, played by the brilliant Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, on his journey through New York City at a date set years before we’re supposed to be introduced to Harry Potter and the Wizarding World of Hogwarts.
Set in 1926, Newt Scamander arrives in New York City smuggling an enchanted case full of magic creatures, which have been banned in the United States. Though quite an awkward character, Scamander’s dedication to his creatures makes him all the more lovable and adds to his charm. As Newt is walking through the city, one of his creatures, a Niffler, escapes and runs loose in a crowded bank. As he tries to re-capture the Niffler, he crosses paths with Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a “No-Maj” (a.k.a, a Muggle) and the suitcases accidentally get switched.
Meanwhile, Newt is unaware that Porpentina Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterstone), a former Auror and a strong yet slightly awkward character as well, is watching him closely waiting to arrest him and turn him in to the Magical Congress of the United States of America in the hopes of regaining her former job back. However, Tina and Newt are dismissed and now must find a way to track down Kowalski and switch the suitcases together as partners before any more creatures escape and run loose causing mischief in New York City.
Meanwhile, the cunning and two-faced Percival Graves, played by our very own Colin Farrell, an Auror, Director of Magical Security and head of MACUSA’s Department of Magical Law Enforcement, has a completely different agenda. Following a series of mysterious events in the city shortly before Newt arrives in New York, Graves is aware that an Obscurus, a dark force that manifests in a child typically under the age of ten who tries to suppress their powers, is present in the city.
Graves approaches Credence, played by up-coming American actor Ezra Miller, and promises to free him from his mother’s constant abuse if he helps him find the Obscurus before the child is harmed and further damage is done. Credence, desperate to escape his adoptive mother and the Head of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, agrees to help Graves, unaware of his bad intentions and the dark magic in him, in the promise that Graves will help teach him magic when the Obscurus is caught. However, viewers see that Graves is not to be trusted right from the start. His sly, devious and manipulative nature makes Graves the perfect villain and makes viewers keen to get to the bottom of this mysterious character.
The movie is essentially your typical battle between good and evil, with both sides looking to get to the Obscurus first and either put an end to the destruction or let evil prevail and wreak havoc over New York City and potentially all of America.
After the huge success and hype over the original Harry Potter series, avid Harry Potter fans may be slightly sceptical about whether the spin-off will live up to their expectations but fans will not be disappointed. Though not quite on the same scale of brilliance as the original Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts brings the Wizarding World that we all missed so much back to life for Harry Potter fans everywhere and the promise of at least four more movies in the series gives fans hope that the Wizarding World will live on.