Such was the gargantuan success of the Harry Potter franchise that it was inevitable Warner Bros would attempt to milk a little more money out of it once all seven books had been adapted into eight sprawling feature films. Thankfully, they’ve gone for a slightly different spin on things, with an original screenplay by JK Rowling that retains the same meticulously-built world she constructed but shifts the setting (New York replacing the mostly fictional UK settings of her novels) and intriguingly going for a 1920s time period, both of which provide director David Yates (who helmed the last four Potter films) with plenty of room for different visual flourishes.

The same pleasant tone of the Potter films is retained, with moments of light-hearted comedy or sweet-natured romance interspersed with hints at much darker content to come in future instalments (this is apparently intended to be the first of five), and there’s a slightly more grown-up approach to subtext and allegory – rather than focusing on the preoccupations of children, there are overtones of racism, segregation and international politics on display. If the inevitable sequels can expand on all this, and maintain the emotional tension while exploring a world rather than having to painstakingly build one, this should be a franchise just as welcome as its illustrious predecessors.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
The entirely predictable attempt to cash in further on the Harry Potter franchise7
Turns out it's a pretty good story though, and different enough to be worth telling8
Setting things in 1920s Manhattan makes everything genuinely refreshing and interesting9
It's still tonally very similar to the Potter films though6
Hopefully future instalments can be a little more daring8
Bechdel Test passes
  • Features more than one named female character
  • The female characters talk to each other
  • They talk about something other than men
Bechdel Test failures
  • n/a
8Overall Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.