Posted in Adaptations

Chris’s Corner – Special Cases – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

On this segment I thought we would look at a good example of a special case when it comes to book to movie adaptations.

The book for Fantastic Beasts has very little to do with the actual movie. However, the two are linked in that the movie follows the adventure of Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the Fantastic Beasts book. Though it is not a true adaptation of the book, it uses the book’s name and the author of said book in its own standalone movie, and can be said to be an adaptation.

So, as to plot, the movie presented a pretty original fun idea with Newt accidentally unleashing a variety of magical creatures on the non-magic world. The idea was wonderful and really brought the movie to life, it gave the movie a very comedic feel that overlaid the quite dark and serious sub-plot following the Dark Wizard Grindelwald. Better yet, the movie makes sense, it makes sense why he carries all of these creatures with him, it makes sense how he gets into trouble, and it makes sense how the comedic search for the creatures turns into something much darker and creepier towards the end of the movie. However, my favorite part about this movie is that it fits within the world Rowling created, and characters such as Grindelwald and the LeStrange’s are tied in nicely. This movie gives us, the viewer, a look at what came before Harry Potter, and the world outside of Hogwarts and its associated community.

However, the things that made this movie truly great in my opinion were the setting and the actors chosen for this movie. The setting was wonderful, and captured 1920’s America extremely well. It was also interesting in how the magical world of New York differed greatly from the world portrayed in Harry Potter. The philosophies and the organization of wizards is completely different, by making the two so starkly different they made it feel much more real than if they had simply copy pasted the british wizarding community into america. As for the actors, they were all great, though in my opinion the three best were Eddie Redmayne as Newt, Dan Fogler as Jacob, and Colin Farrell as Graves. Newt and Jacob played off of each other perfectly, and were hilarious. Graves on the other hand was extremely ominous, and the actor played his part perfectly. These three made the movie amazing, and Jacob’s constant weird laughs made it a hilarious experience.

Though its not exactly a normal adaptation, I rate this as one of the good. The director captured the essence of the Harry Potter world and J.K. Rowling’s works extremely well, it felt like it belonged. With these types of special cases I would argue that is of the utmost importance. If a movie is being written into a beloved world it needs to capture the essence of what that world is about.

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