Last week I wrote a pretty harsh post about Harry Potter, and was relieved that others too think the Boy Who Lived should finally die.
When in the cinema to see the new Fantastic Beasts, it actually did feel like Harry Potter was dying. We went the day after the release, and the theater was almost empty. When I was growing up every showing was packed for the first week at least. It was a sad realisation. I also felt really old that the kids that were there weren’t even alive when Harry Potter first came out.
I’m digressing, to the review:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them which followed magizoologist Newt Scamander to New York on the look out for fantastic beasts for his book, and a secret mission Dumbledore sent him on.
The second film sees Newt go to Paris to track down the obscurus Credence and stop him from joining the wrong side; Grindelwald’s. Grindelwald’s been a much anticipated character – although people aren’t happy with the casting. Although not physically present in the Harry Potter books and movie, we learn that he was a close friend to Dumbledore as a teenager, with both having ambitions to see wizard come out of hiding. Dumbledore, of course, had a change of heart. A fight between the two resulted in the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, and neither knew who cast the curse who killed her. Grindlewald’s presence in the series means we might finally find out who killed Ariana. What fans seem to be the most eager about is the acknowledgment of Dumbledore’s sexuality as he was in love with Grindlewald. In short: Grindlewald being here is a big deal.
The new movie was one of those sequels that is better than the first. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was much better than I anticipated, but Crimes of Grindlewald had much more action and built on the foundation the first movie set. It was less fun and games than the first movie, but it worked for those already invested in the story. People unfamiliar with the first movie or even the Harry Potter series won’t be as moved as avid fans are, because ultimately this isn’t a movie for the casual watcher, it’s for the Potterheads.
The first movie did see Newt become on of my favourite Wizarding World characters though.
It also answered questions from Harry Potter we’ve been asking the whole time, most notably Nagini. There’s also one big plot twist, that I dare not spoil.
It was far from perfect though. They actually broke cannon a bit by including Professor McGonagall to add more Harry Potter nostaliga to the story, except, the film is set in 1927, and she told Umbridge in the books that she didn’t start teaching in Hogwarts until the 1950s. They actually took the year she was born off of Pottermore to try hide the mistake. Some of the character developments since the first movie seemed off as well, so there doesn’t seem to have been a whole lot of attention to detail. You could argue this was a rushed cash grab. Three more movies is a big risk so they next 3 really need to up their game – especially if they plan on keeping Johnny Depp because lord knows his reign as Hollywood’s leading man is coming to an end. A lot of fans boycotted the movie because of him.
Crimes of Grindelwald actually exceeded my expectations, but I still stand by what I said in my last post. Please let this series be the end.