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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review (2016) | Recreates Magic

Years of missing J. K. Rowling’s genius on the big screen finally felt quenched with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. It flickered in me those familiar goosebumps I used to get on witnessing the Warner Bros Pictures logo hit the big screen. It would sublime that renowned rad symphony that went Na-Na-Na-Na-Na in the backdrop.

Direction of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fewer directors could ace a prologue in such terse frames than David Yates himself. The beginning of the Fantastic Beasts movie is so laconic, and yet so colloquial that you can’t stop yourself from feeling mesmerized by his fleeting frames.

still of Tina and Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie

Years of directing Harry Potter franchise has chafed off its shine on him. It becomes evident the moment Yates gets behind the lens. There is plenty of experience under his collar that he has garnered over time, and it has prepared him upfront to deliver some fine seamless finishing.

David Yates’s work speaks volume when you find him easing into the magical world without us realizing it. It is apparent with his overtly long and meandering walks alongside our protagonist that only stops when he successfully wraps up his scene. He is that kind of a genius that magically seems to get better with magic.

References and Comparisons (Spoilers Ahead)

Comparisons ensue when you place it against the likes of one of the best Hogwarts franchises of all times. In Fantastic Beasts movie, the frequent disappearing acts seem to happen effortlessly. There is more magic entailed here which acts as a great plus. What makes it further embellished? None other than the movie’s thrilling 3D effects. They are absolutely ravishing! David Yates makes sure there are plenty of them sandwiched at odd junctures to aggrandize the flick’s theatrics.

Fantastic Beasts franchise appears to be much darker than Harry Potter series if we take their first epicsode into consideration. But as far as storytelling pace is concerned, Potter franchise would beat it to pulp any day. There are references galore from the Potter world that don’t hold back from tingling your inner “pensieve”.

Calling Hogwarts Hogwash is a smart jest deliberately put to show what others think about the best school we know hitherto. That remark brings a smile to your face as it tries to wryly devalue our favourite fantastical school. Then at one point you hear the word Dumbledore and you can’t pay attention enough. The fact that Dumbledore supported and believed in Newt Scamander even though he was expelled helps you to accept him more easily. Then doors get opened with the only opening charm that we have ever come across: Alohomora. All of it takes you back in time.

Fantastic Beasts

Since the primal theme of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is revolving around amazing creatures, we find it as one the major driving plots. But J. K. Rowling loves to make connections, and everything connects so beautifully that the end result becomes really satisfying. You don’t really see the end coming from miles and it kind of flabbergasts you.

Out of all the amazing creatures that were unleashed in New York, Niffler is the most adorable of all. The creature was first referenced in Harry Potter series where an allusion of sorts was made when Lee Jordan  had released two of these fantastical creatures to trouble Dolores Umbridge. It is a cute little thief who has an inbred penchant for shiny things.  We see plenty of it to fall in love almost immediately.

still of niffler in fantastic beasts movie

Then there is a creature called Bowtruckle that has letting go issues. It looks like a stem cum mantis and stays most of the times hidden under Newt’s collar. Swooping Evil is one of the most badass creatures which assists our protagonists during desperate times.

Demiguise‘s power to grasp futuristic events has been beautifully portrayed. The concept of Occamy ‘s, the serpent’s, behaviour to occupy space is brilliantly thought of. Thunderbird is one of those titular fantastical beasts that reminds you of Buckbeak from the HP saga. However, this one has weather control under its aegis and is closely related to a phoenix.

You can pre-order Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them here:

Downsides

If we squint hard at its downsides, the first one would be the introduction chapter to the Beasts. It is almost abrupt, something that takes away the joy from a well written account. The need of the hour was the wonderment that it was supposed to tag along whilst launching each creature. We have been fed fantasy so much in the past that the way Yates introduces them ends up becoming a tad forgetful.

Do you remember how Buckbeak made a lasting impression, and is still remembered whenever you get a faintest reminder of its colossal import? To match that level of recognition David Yates should have resorted to some awe-inspiring calm.

Then there was this moment when Newt takes Kowalski into his suitcase. There in an attempt to introduce him to the astounding abode, he does some eye-popping magical shenanigans. It becomes almost overwhelming at one point. I overheard one of the fellow spectators complain:

“What is he trying to do?”

Primarily because Newt stays reticent most of the times and well quilted under his acting wraps. To play a nerdy character that asks him to stay shy, gnaws on his character’s capabilities.

The Pairing Up

The chemistry Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Kowalski (Dan Fogler) bring into the tale is akin magic. Their side-plot is amazingly portrayed as well. It almost takes the lead characters Newt and Tina out of the picture entirely. It is both a good thing and a bad thing for the story. Reason being it leaves you with a rare feeling of insouciance towards any budding relationship between the latter couple, taking away their supposedly thunder. Their lack of nerd chemistry “obliviates” you from seeing them go anywhere in the long run.

still of graves colin farrell in fantastic beasts movie

Colin Farrell does plenty of justice to the character of Graves. And then that remarkable acting in those final rad moments make for a resounding icing. Johnny Depp was an insane revelation as the badass villain we all wanted. But a lesser renowned face would have done Grindelwald justice I think. Let’s see how he fares in the future runs. Keeping fingers crossed on that one.

Music by James Newton Howard is extraordinary as well. Very soothing and aptly placed! Sways you like an Occamy to a tune of roach!

The Final Verdict

Overall, the Fantastic Beasts movie was beautifully packed in one magnificent capsule of delight. Can’t wait to find out where this brilliant prequel takes us. Most interested in how Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will connect dots and give more Easter eggs to make magical omelettes from.

Check out the trailer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie here:

The Legend of Tarzan Review (2016) | A different but mediocre take

The Legend of Tarzan is an entirely different take on the story of Tarzan. Aptly named as the song that spoke of his feral legends sung by tribals, it is an above average flick that has been beautifully helmed by David Yates. Even though the style of frame depiction is sheer amazeballs, The Legend of Tarzan isn’t exactly all goodies either.

DIRECTION OF THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

I have a mixed feeling about Yates direction. Bits where he chooses different angles to depict a grim situation, cashing in on the intensity makes every frame powerful. He aces such frames with badass music in the backdrop. However there are moments where his frames tumble into the shoddy territory. Like when he starts rotating the camera around a character who is delivering generic dialogues, it is hard to take him seriously.

still of Akut and Tarzan fighting in the legend of tarzan movie

Action scenes in Legend of Tarzan are very unsteady, and it is almost impossible to focus on what’s really happening until it’s all over. Either the characters are too zoomed in or not properly shown. There are plenty of areas where this is evident.

Music is brilliantly chosen and imparts quite a darker comportment to the movie. Screenplay is kind of okay. There are two to three memorable one liners that will definitely wiggle your ears. The other moments, however, your ears will stay parched in need of some intelligent literary lines.

PLOT OF THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

Another area where Tarzan scores profusely is the plot. It comes with a good one, beating the clichés of the jungle tale. The only sad thing is that revisiting the old story is like a constant to and fro motion. It is done at awkward junctures, without choosing a proper way to deliver the complete storyline. Visuals are average. Sometimes you see the CGI dwindle too much taking things towards the animated crossroads.

still of Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan in the Legend of Tarzan movie

Alexander Skarsgard works magnificently in the shoes of the legendary Tarzan. He creates a more silent and darker aired hero who let his grim nature do the talking for him.

You will also find humour at weird junctures in The Legend of Tarzan, mostly coming from Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams and his shenanigans but most of it is bland.

SPOILERS CLINGING HEREON

Conversations between Leon Rom and Jane Clayton are the worst. There is something wrong with their timing, and the fact that Yates is okay with it, will leave you scratching your head. Also, you cannot overlook the constant disconnect there is to the tale. Just when you begin to think that something is going to happen, the frame changes to a different timeline entirely. It is a constant wrestle between the frames that takes out the tangibility from the movie.

BADASS MOMENTS TO REMEMBER

The Legend of Tarzan is gorgeously blended with moments that resuscitate elements from his past. The first one being the cubs he grew up with. There is a moment where he bows down to grown up versions of lions and lionesses, who recognize him and rub their heads against him in mute affection.

still of alexander skarsgard as tarzan bowing down to lion and lioness in the legend of tarzan movie

Also, the fight between Akut and Tarzan is definitely one of the most theatrical bits of the tale. The mere fact that he fights with someone whom he can’t defeat is ballsy per se. When he tries to save Jane by covering her with his body is both romantic and brave. Another one where he beats a box of soldiers to pulp with his bare hands is one helluva eye-candy.

THE FINAL VERDICT

The Legend of Tarzan has its ups and downs that constantly keep playing with your head. There are flaws galore at the same time beautiful moments to be cherished. I would say go for it, so you don’t regret not watching it, if there are future sequels planned.

Check out the trailer of The Legend of Tarzan here: