Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-Ray + DVD

Fantastic animals and where to find them, the highly anticipated spin-off of the magical world of J.K. Rowling, is more than anything a promise: an adventure that rises mainly as a foundation -intention and charismatic, yes- of a new franchise, which at all times gives the impression of being keeping the best cards for the future. After all, it is the first of five films that are planned around the adventures of his new hero, the magician Newt Scamander, and has the weight of multiple objectives: presenting new characters and villains, creating an expectation for the sequels, expanding the universe and fit into it, lay your own identity (separate from the Harry Potter saga), talk to the rookies of Rowling's world and, at the same time, be functional, fun and ... fantastic.

Such challenges would paralyze any franchise and make it fall under its pressure; however, this is not the case of Fantastic Animals, which under the direction of David Yates manages to stand firm and prove that the world of magicians is still quite alive, four years after the release of the last Harry Potter film (and that he also directed). Now, it is true that in most cases responds to these objectives in a more functional than fantastic, and is built to constantly remind us that this is only the beginning. However, in spite of that, Newt's first adventure is a show from beginning to end, whose main achievement (the one that clearly seeks more) lies in the fact that he manages to plant the desire to see the following. Something quite difficult to achieve in the competitive sequel scene.

Written by Rowling herself - in her first foray as a screenwriter - the film presents Newt (played by Eddie Redmayne) as the new misunderstood outsider with a wand that could save the magical community from dark forces. He narrates his arrival in the New York of the 1920s, as part of his research trips to write his book Fantastic Animals and where to find them, which will eventually become the textbook used by Harry and his friends at Hogwarts. There, the hazards of fate and an accident with his mysterious suitcase join him with Jacob (Dan Fogler), a non-maj baker (muggle, in American slang); and with two sister witches: Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), employee of the Magical Congress of the United States, and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), a witch capable of reading the mind.

It is in the vicissitudes of this quartet that the film has its best moments. Immersed in a community full of hate and suspicion, quite different from what is known in Hogwarts (American wizards are on the verge of war with humans), Newt, Porpentina, Jacob and Queenie star in a quest of quirky fantastic creatures to the Pokemon GO , which explores the best of the film: Newt's bestiary. The fantastic animals manage to be precisely that: fantastic, not only because of the magic of the CGI with which they are composed, but because their characteristics are again proof of Rowlingneana's imagination without limits. In addition, we open that part of the magical world that we could only glimpse a little in those infamous Hagrid classes, which sent more than one student with the Hogwarts nurse.

Also, this persecution makes clear an intention of the production to take advantage of and enrich itself of the historical moment in which it is located, in order to separate itself in tone and aesthetics from Potter's adventures. Stand out the scenarios and the design of production in general, but above all those noir atmospheres that revive the mystery and seduction of the era of the dry law of the USA: clandestine nightclubs full of cigarette smoke, tense looks and ... goblins . There are not many sequences that have this privilege, but they serve as a sample of how much the rest of the franchise could benefit if he decides to let himself be carried further by the imagery and nostalgia of the 20s, a pretty magical decade in itself. A promise that we hope will be fulfilled.

The homage to this time is also found in the dynamics between Newt and Jacob. We had already seen Eddie Redmayne playing the roles of the introverted and indecisive nerd (The theory of everything), but who is quite new is his comedy companion: Dan Fogler. Jacob's character is the revelation of the film and his dumbbell with Newt recalls the classic comic figures of silent cinema. It would not be unreasonable to say that Fogler steals the entire show. Beside him, the rest of the characters seem to remain in the mere sympathetic introduction -including that of Newt-, as promises (again this word) that we will see flourish more along the sequels. This is the case above all of Tina (Waterston), which is eclipsed on this occasion by the overwhelming personality of her sister Queenie (Sudol).

However, all this fun is asphyxiated in the other storyline, that starring Colin Farrell in his role as Percival Graves, which has the clear and heavy function of laying the foundations antagonistic for the rest of the sequels. The hidden adventures of this auror (something like a CIA policeman of the magical world), involve a troubled young man (Ezra Miller) who remembers a little Tom Marvolo Riddle, but they try so hard to build a franchise that, in Instead of being intriguing, they become the "spoilers" of the movie. They are explanatory sequences occupied in manufacturing and giving a platform to the darkness, dressed with characters of minimal appearances (Jon Voight, as an important president of a newspaper), whose only function is to present for the following sequels. While magic and fun are in the simplest part of the plot (chasing the magical beasts), the gears of the machinery inevitably loom in this subhistory. Those who are new to the Potterian universe will find refuge in the first. Even so, it achieves a few sinister moments, which the fans will appreciate.

Remember that these are the risks of creating a production that was arranged in a single film what the saga of Harry Potter did in four: on the one hand, present a new world and its characters, fond the public with them and create a franchise (The Philosopher's Stone, The Secret Chamber and The Prisoner of Azkaban); and, on the other hand, put more darkness, expand the universe beyond Hogwarts and present their main villain with bass and cymbal (The Goblet of Fire). The result is, in spite of everything, satisfactory, more practical than magical in several moments, but a worthy successor to one of the most beloved sagas of all time. It is held, more than anything, as a promising door, which suddenly stumbles in its spirit to extend beyond this first adventure, but manages to build an underworld within the universe and lay the foundations for the franchise in a functional way. Of course, we have to wait to learn more about the elements that make up the society of magicians (the school of Ilvermorny, the past of MACUSA, the main villain ...), which are only mentioned slightly.

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