If you missed the Harry Potter world, it’s okay. J.K. Rowling is back with a completely new adventure! How was it? Did it rekindle the magic?

Yes, it kind of did.

This time it’s set in America and we’re introduced to a whole new wizarding community. They say things like “No-Maj” instead of “Muggle”. Their Ministry of Magic, MACUSA, is more modern and has less of the old-timey charm even though it’s set in an earlier time period.

But this was good as it placed us in a whole different world and we got to experience something new rather than the same old thing.  That was perhaps the biggest charm of this movie, discovering the differences and marvelling at them.

Another thing to enjoy about the movie is that it’s set in the 1920’s so we get to experience 1920’s America, more specifically 1920’s New York. New York is fun in any time period and Fantastic Beasts prove that. Although it’s a shame the film failed to tap into the racial diverse nature of New York.

As for the story, it was good. There were twists and turns, I thought it was going to be all about the beasts but then we realise that it’s not and that an obscurus is running around terrorising New York. You don’t know for sure who it is until the very last moment and I admit it, it caught me by surprise but at the same time it didn’t.

However, it felt like the two plots in the movie didn’t blend well together. From the trailer I assumed somehow the magical beasts would relate to the obscurus plot and they do… but not completely. There were places were the plot dragged and where it felt like something was missing. Perhaps more on the fantastic beasts was needed? Or more on Graves (Colin Farrell) and more build up for his character? (Although if you’re a Harry Potter fan you saw that coming from the beginning).

On a positive note, the film did not lack in character, Newt (Eddie Redmayne) was interesting and delightfully quirky. I loved Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) grow on you. Even though she wasn’t always on the protagonist’s side Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo), the President, was another favourite from the movie.

Colin Farrell did well to play the duality of his character and it was fun to watch it play out.

All in all, it was good but it could have been better.  There is a talk of sequels so I guess we’ll wait and see how the second one fares.

– Gift Ruremesha, Correspondent (Film)