Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spin-off and prequel to the Harry Potter series, follows eccentric introverted wizard Newt Scamander as he tracks down some of the fantastic beasts he collected from around the world. Bohm Theatre // Photo Courtesy
THE SILVEY LINING: The magic returns
Curtis Silvey is a junior photojournalism major and writes "The Silvey Lining" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some, Nov. 18 was just a normal Friday. To a lot of others, though, it was the revisiting to the Wizarding World they know and love.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is a spin-off and a prequel to the Harry Potter series. It’s a prequel in that it’s set in the same world as the rest of the Harry Potter stories but that it takes place seventy plus years before Harry shows up. It’s a spin-off in the fact that the story centers around one of the textbooks mentioned within the Harry Potter stories.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is the story of Newt Scamander, an eccentric introverted wizard who makes a brief stopover in America. While in America, Scamander and a No-Maj (another name for a Muggle, who is a person that cannot perform magic) by the name of Jacob Kowalski end up switching suitcases by accident. That then leads to mayhem after Kowalski ends up opening Scamander’s magical suitcase, releasing some of magical creatures within it.
Scamander, with the help of Kowalski and a few others they meet on the way, try to find the escaped beasts before things get too out of hand, along with the intervention of the Magic Congress of the United States.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" stars Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything," "Les Miserables") as Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Katherine Waterston ("Steve Jobs," "Inherent Vice") as Porpentina Goldstein, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Collin Farrell ("Total Recall" reboot) as Percival Graves, Ezra Miller ("The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "The Flash in the DC Cinematic Universe") as Credence Barebone, and Carmen Ejogo ("Selma," "The Purge: Anarchy") as Seraphina Picquery.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m not a "Harry Potter" fanatic. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movies, but I never read the books. With that said, you could honestly walk into the theater and watch this movie if you have never heard of the name Harry Potter before in your life and still enjoy it.
For the rest of you that have enjoyed the books and/or movies and fall anywhere between casual fan and super fan, this is a delightful treat of a movie to see. It has a lot of the same magic (no pun intended) that some of the movies had, and that’s thanks to David Yates directing (who also directed the last four Harry Potter movies) and J. K. Rowling who wrote the script. That also said, there were some slow parts, but the movie kept those times flowing pretty efficiently so they weren’t major issues. The CGI was gorgeous, the fighting scenes felt like they flowed pretty well and there was a decent amount of jokes throughout.
There are some fun things here and there that you can pick up though if you have some background knowledge by reading the books or watching the movies, and Depp’s cameo isn’t bad, but I would’ve like to have seen more of it.