Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Samantha Morton, Dan Fogler, John Voight, Alison Sodul, Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jenn Murray, Ronan Raftery, Corey Peterson, Peter Breitmayer, Josh Cowdery, Sam Redford, Zoë Kravitz, Johnny Depp.
It is impossible to ignore the magic, the film that will leave you spellbound and entranced, even without trying too hard it will leave you on the verge of feeling the slack jaw and the misty eyed, a memory of feeling the optimism with any story told when you were a child and seeing that tale run with the grace of imagination installed into it by the writing, the way it was told and the small details of the descriptions added into it by a cool parent.
Impossible to ignore the magic and it seems unlikely it will go away sometime soon, not that you want the world created by J.K. Rowling to disappear, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is an off shoot of the much loved tale of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, from a by-line to the big screen and it is one that in many ways outstrips the original stories, one that seems all the more deserving of praise for the way it is filmed, the momentum it already has installed for more tales of Newt Scamander is terrific and in the end it is just a very, very good and polished story.
Part of the film’s charm undoubtedly is in the hands of the core characters played with distinction and most importantly love. Eddie Redmayne once more shows off his incredible aptitude in front of camera, and whilst he will not win an Academy Award for his portrayal of the socially awkward wizard, he will have earned many more thousands of fans and kept those who have followed him over the years with interest pounding in their blood; it is a role that is perfectly framed for Mr. Redmayne, but one that also allows the more that significant action side of the talented actor to be shown off and appreciated.
With a tremendous supporting cast, especially in the just as awkward on screen persona of Tina, played by Katherine Waterston and who is more than a match for Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamande, the incredibly likeable Dan Fogler as the non-maj Kowalski and Samantha Morton as the incredibly unpleasant and puritan valued Mary-Lou, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is a film that is generous on screen, that is beyond the imagination and one where a writer’s dearest wish to bring everything they have in the locker room, undiscovered in the many unobserved rooms and cupboards of their minds, completely and utterly to fruition.
A marvellous, sentimental, bounding with energy film and one that should be seen by anyone with a heart.
Ian D. Hall