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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 Danish Girl Review (2015)

A powerful movie! Eddie delivers an enthralling performance.

The Danish Girl is a self-realization sojourn of Einar Wegener, a top-notch landscape painter from Denmark, who unfurls gradually into his true identity. Never leaving his side in a full supportive backdrop is Gerda Wegener, played superbly by Alicia Vikander, who depicts a gorgeous shade of loyal love.

The movie leaves you wondering how bold and resolute Einar Wegner really was, to have pioneered the transgender transformation. In an era of hush-hush, where people looked at you differently, Einar managed to do something extraordinary and unorthodox that is worth an ovation. He wasn’t really bothered about what people might say or do. He just cared about finding what he was, in an unwavering fashion.

SPOILERS:

The story leaves you in tears owing to the “Gerda-persistence”. Not for a second does she stop loving her husband, and accepts Einar’s true identity and helps him to achieve his transformation. She wavers once, but that was it. Where will you find such altruistic love?

The performance of Eddie Redmayne is mind numbing as Lili. He wears all the womanly expressions to perfection, with the slight but right blush, blinking of his eyes and that crimsoned smile, he just nails every bit like a pro. So reassuring is his performance that he gets lost into it completely. Really convincing! The music and screenplay are simply outstanding. Well played and intelligently written. Acting A1! Plot superbly woven.

Some bits in the movie unknowingly walk into the clichéd territory, for instance when two French guys beat the crap out of Einar, also the fact that Gerda is crushed ‘neath her loyalty towards her husband and requited love, seem more like a revisited enclave.

As The Danish Girl rambles to fruition, the movie begins losing its dramatic quotient and charm that had so brilliantly managed to keep us riveted. Editing goes a little bit dodgy there, and it loses its rhythm. The quiet is overshadowed by the shaky focus as frames change one after the other beating melodrama to pulp. Although right at the climax it peaks once again and makes up for all of it. But, still you are compelled to feel something wasn’t quite right during the last bits.

However, overall the movie did justice to the transgender pioneer and the girl who never left his side, Gerda the true hero. A splendid flick!

The Theory of Everything Review (2014) | Homage to Jane and Stephen Hawking

The Theory of Everything is hands down James Marsh’s finest. It is a biopic of the living (something producers rarely pick) miracle, Stephen Hawking. The life of the prodigy is smitten with misfortunes, wonders, eurekas, not to forget the love of his life Jane Hawking who sacrificed everything normal just to be with the polymath.

Plot of The Theory of Everything

The life of Stephen Hawking is in itself a melodramatic narrative which doesn’t need any more filler to spice things up. It already reeks of mishaps and tragedies. What is worth noticing is the fact that despite all the adversities that dangled around in his life, that could have ended up becoming a documentary per se, Jane still had plenty to do in it. Nay, she was one of the primal forces! It was pulled off and buffed up brilliantly by Jane, without whom the master couldn’t have possibly ever made it.

still of Jane Hawking and Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything

So, The Theory of Everything movie packs in a story that scales the lives of both of them. It pays equal importance to its deuteragonist, and lets you have a good look into things that constituted their living.

Direction of the movie

One of the reasons The Theory of Everything movie stays highly revered in my head is because James Marsh tries his level best to present theories in the easiest way possible. Complex structures that general multitude wouldn’t get have been expounded brilliantly at different points of time. He presents simple examples to make us understand. He also endeavors to make things relate to us by explaining Hawking’s magnificent discoveries. Even whilst he diligently does that he makes sure not to miss out the fundament – the alluring drama that the flick gorgeously carries.

Marsh captures every aspect, every crossroad and setback that Hawking faced in his life with perfection. People tend to remember only the renowned. But what Marsh did by manifesting the parallel life of Jane Hawking, the mental agony she had to go through, the dilemma of not leading a normal life, the vexation of all the work she did, the hope that lit up her dead verve, the broken chance to escape from everything, and the jilted emptiness are far more beautiful and worth commending than the what Stephen clouded.

I have loved you. I did my best.

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The Final Verdict

The story is also a beautiful reflection of a human mind’s conundrum. It shows how at one point love dies and no matter what you do, and no matter how close you were, it always meets the same agonizing fate. Comes a time when there is no other option but to let go. Sometimes for the sake of the happiness of your other half.

Stephen Hawking is a living epitome of hope. It just goes on to show us how a will to fight, a reason to live and the gusto to learn could stop a brain from dying. A movie that should not be missed for the world.

Check out the trailer of The Theory of Everything movie here: