Verdict: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Source: YouTube

Focussed more on world building, mythology and franchise film making than on character, heart and consistency, this J.K Rowling penned film becomes lost finding its identity. Tonally clustered and lacking a central force, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ shoe-horns in numerous storylines that are compelling, yet lack coherency and ultimately feel disconnected. There are numerous occasions where it feels like there is multiple films within one. Luckily, the brilliantly developed wider themes present are able to bring some societal complexity to the film, discussing suppression, inner demons and acceptance. These discussions are well supported in a world that both beautifully parallels¬†the 1920s as well as our current political and social climate. It is in the technical and intellectual aspects that this film soars in. However, while Newt Scamander is likeable enough as the main hero, the other supporting characters lack any unique development and fit largely archetypal moulds. There is also a lot of contrived meetings, actions and occurrences that dilute the overall narrative and halt the film’s fluidity. Overall ‘Fantastic Beasts’ has a number of incredibly interesting elements, all which will hopefully be developed in the next films, but firstly it needs to understand what type of story it wants to be. 3.5/5