Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol
Director: David Yates
Screenplay: J.K. Rowling
Plot Summary (from IMDb): The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
J.K. Rowling has done it again! She has created an original and entertaining screenplay that spins off of a Hogwarts text book of the same name from the Harry Potter series that describes and accounts for all of the known magical beasts in the wizarding world. In this film, viewers are introduced to the quirky Newt Scamander and quite a few of the incredible beasts that Rowling has imagined. The acting is impeccable and this is the storytelling that can only come from an author like J.K. Rowling.
While this review doesn’t fit with the typical book-to-movie review that is so customary of this feature, I found it fitting due to the origins of the film. There are so many tie-ins that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has to the original Harry Potter series and Newt Scamander’s book that it is really exciting for any Harry Potter fan. There are references to Dumbledore, Hogwarts and many of the magical beasts from the Harry Potter books and this story really feels like a prequel to the whole series.
There is no better actor than Eddie Redmayne to portray the eccentric protector and perfectly imperfect Newt Scamander. He really seems to get into the skin of Newt and is just so believable. It is a role that I am sure will be one that defines Redmayne, just as Daniel Radcliffe will always be known as Harry Potter. He is that convincing and fits the role flawlessly.
One of the few movies that I have enjoyed in 3D, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually ideal in this type of theatrical experience. The special effects are stunning and there are some moments where the 3D beasts come incredibly close to the audience. In my opinion, if you are heading out to see this one at the cinema, opt for the 3D ticket. Getting up close and personal with a Billywig and a Niffler is well worth the extra money for admission.