REVIEW: Eddie Redmayne shines in charming Harry Potter spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

Fantastic Beasts

Fantastic Beasts - Credit: Archant

Eddie Redmayne retains his role as movie man of the moment with yet another compelling performance, this time as English wizarding world magizoologist and aspiring writer Newt Scamander in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, a satisfying prequel to the much-loved ‘Harry Potter’ series.

Set in 1920’s New York, Newt arrives in the Big Apple hoping to find inspiration and information about the unseen magical creatures that live in the shadows of the wizarding world - or, as is quickly revealed, inside his suitcase...

After one of his many creatures escapes he’s sent on a wild goose chase around the capital to recapture his coin-loving platypus-esque friend alongside down-on-his-luck sidekick and No Maj (American for ‘Muggle’) Jacob Kowalski.

They’re joined by wizard investigator Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her mind-reading sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) who exudes a mythical sort of elegance.

It’s Academy Award-winning Redmayne, though, who stunned as Stephen Hawking in the emotional ‘The Theory of Everything’, that shines brightest.

He plays Newt brilliantly: nurturing, reserved and awkward, presenting similar characteristics to ‘Doctor Who’. His suitcase could give even the Tardis a run for its money...

Colourful and charming when it needs to be, but dark and sinister at the next sharp turn, the David Yates-directed blockbuster is a worthwhile addition to one of the decade’s biggest movie franchises.

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There are also a few subtle nods to the original Potter collection, and a blink or you’ll miss it cameo from Johnny Depp.

Whilst some cynics might argue that J.K. Rowling is ‘cashing in’, her endless imagination and creativity is undeniable.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ is at the Light Cinema, Wisbech now. For full listings visit