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'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' review: Don't miss a minute of this engaging film!

It's the most grown up Harry Potter film that doesn't feature Harry Potter.

'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' review: Don't miss a minute of this engaging film!

Director: David Yates
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Collin Farrell, Ezra Miller 

What's it about:
The world before the Harry Potter series if you will. Of course, if you're familiar to the series, you're familiar with Newt Scamander's character. Newt (Eddie Redmayne) literally wrote and lived the book on magical creatures. When he first lands in New York at a time I'm guessing is the 1920s, times were simpler and the city a different creature than it is now.
He immediately catches the eye of an 'investigator' named Tina Goldstein from the Magical Congress of The USA, which is their answer to the UK's Ministry of Magic. She, in her earnest to do the right thing, takes him to the authorities, but finds it a failed attempt to prove a point.
She then takes Newt and a Muggle named Jacob Kowalski who he didn't obliviate (wipe the memory of) in, and who unwittingly unleashes magical creatures in NY.
Some like the Niffler are harmless, others are big and somewhat dangerous.
But it is an unseen force called the Obscurial that kills a US senator at a fundraiser that draws unwanted attention to the Magical community.
Blamed for the exposure, Newt, the Muggle, the investigator and her sister try and set things right. Will they do so in time?

What's hot:

Redmayne is arresting as the awkward Newt. Each fantastic creature is a sight to behold and every scene with them pure magic. The idea of infinite worlds in finite spaces is a joy to behold. Despite the rather bleak times one comes across (a nod to Dickensian London?), it's a freer space for the wizarding community. There's much more cheer to be found here than in any of the Harry Potter films. In fact, one might add, it's the most grown up Harry Potter film that doesn't feature Harry Potter. Fogler as the bumbling Kowalski is a refreshing presence and provides some understated comic relief. And while the kids are going to love Niffler, the adults will have their favourite creatures too.
Collin as the aptly named Mr Graves and his friendship with the brooding beat-up orphan Credence (Miller) is deftly handled, too.
Not spoiling it for you, but don't miss two awesome cameos.

What's not:
Waterston as Tina leaves a lot to be desired of as a leading lady. And that's a disappointment. She's quite easily outshined by her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), who's a real treat to watch. We'd love to see more of Credence's back story, but we never get it. We know barely little as it is of Newt in this, except that his brother was a war hero and that Dumbledore is rather fond of him.

What to do:
Minor gripes aside, do not miss a minute of this film. It's probably one of the best films you'll watch this year that's consistently engaging and entertaining.

Rating: ****