Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (12A)
2016 ( UK | USA ) ( Adventure, Family, Fantasy )
( partial English subtitles )
STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol
DIRECTOR: David Yates
‘Fantasic Beasts’ is rousing filmmaking that combines astonishing special effects with plenty of humour and pathos. Inspired by Rowling’s book of the same name, the setting is 1920s New York where Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has arrived in search of magical creatures only those in the wizarding world can see. The magical-zoologist – think a cross between Dr Who and Buster Keaton – has spent his life collecting the endangered animals which he studies in a lab accessible only through his leather briefcase. But things go awry when down-on-his-luck baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) unwittingly unleashes Newt’s beasts on the Big Apple. Teaming up with Jacob and witches Tina and Queenie (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol), Newt must catch them before they cause mayhem.
At times, the storytelling becomes very dark, verging on film noir, but even at its most foreboding, Fantastic Beasts never loses its charm or its winning whimsicality.