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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ticketstubBack to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, only this time, the story takes place in the 1930's (approximately) and features adults as the main characters, and I have to say, it works rather well. Basically, there are magical beasts and they're on the loose in New York City, only there's more going on under the surface. Politics and plots, it's a dangerous world. I found the core themes both more interesting and more timely. I haven't verified this, but my impression is that the magical beasts, that have been banned from entry into NYC, are a metaphor for foreign refugees. Our protagonist Newt makes it clear that these beasts aren't a danger to anyone, that in fact we can learn from them. But fear and ignorance causes the wizards of New York to demonize them. Instead, the real threat comes from within the government, reminding us that domestic threats are much worse and more nefarious that perceived foreign threats. Or, that's my take, anyway.

I thought the story worked well and featured a bit more nuance and timeliness than other Harry Potter stories. Script and acting were decent, though I'm still frustrated by Eddie Redmayne's frequent lack of enunciation. I expect the kids will like all the fantastic beasts and the grown-ups might find the adult characters more relatable, this could be an interesting new franchise in a familiar universe.

4/5