Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald gives fans of the wizarding world an insight into the world before the boy who lived. J.K. Rowling’s old-school cinematic world building, exploring many serious, moralistic themes, explored through an epic, classic battle between good and evil to make them accessible for all ages.

This film gives an insight into the cruel darkness Grindelwald inflicted on the magical world several years ago. While the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film made in 2016 set up a good foundation for the world, Rowling, who wrote both of the screenplays, put more emphasis on elements this world to make it more heart pounding and thought-provoking to the audiences.

The director David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films and he was able to inflict the same darkness and the feel of an imminent threat onto this world as well. This darkness and threat are reflected by a great deal of the film are focused on members of Hogwarts’ Slytherin house. It has been known that Slytherin house, though members are not always cruel, do believe superiority lies with pureblooded wizards and witches. This is reflected in this film as Grindelwald has the same notion and hopes to spread destruction across the magic and non-magic world in order to achieve her goal.

“The Crimes of Grindelwald” is about much more than its predecessor, but the events which happen in order to stop Grindelwald. This encourages are a more in-depth world-building technique with a stronger narrative. This also influences the positive growth of characters and creatures of the previous film such as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) still to have a promising romance with the sweet but skittish auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston). Then there’s the relationship between Tina’s ditzy legilimence sister, Queenie (Alison Sudol) and her lovable lug of a Muggle boyfriend, Jacob (Dan Fogler) and how they keep their relationship a secret.

Then there is the story of tormented Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who survived the battle of the last film and goes in search of his true identity. Grindelwald uses this weakness in Credence to his advantage, twists the circumstances to his advantage and to form him into a weapon to use against the one person who will threaten his evil scheme, a young Abus Dumbledore (Jude Law).

The film begins with the dreaded dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) who was imprisoned at the end of the previous film is being transferred from the United States to England a staging a daring prison escape on a dark and stormy night of the opening sequence. This then is followed by an urgent search for him as both wizarding communities are well aware of his evil conquest, gathering all the pureblooded wizards from around the world and rule over all non-magical people. The magical law enforcement knew of these plans and urgently acted for his recapture.

“The Crimes of Grindelwald” has a chilling dark nature to it as Grindelwald’s intentions are shown and he puts his plan into action. Depp plays Grindelwald is a dark, threatening and weird presence in every scene he is in. In my opinion, Depp brings traits of his previously played roles in the Tim Burton films into this role of Gellert Grindelwald in this film, creating an ominous presence in every scene he is in.

Audience’s refocuses on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the perennially twitchy, mannered young person who was the main character in the last film when a young, dashing Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), seeks him out and asks him to take time away from his many cuddly and crawly critters to track down Grindelwald. When Newt questions the reason why Dumbledore can’t do it himself but the Hogwarts headmaster expresses the difficulties of doing it, leaving some of Newt’s questions unanswered and therefore leaving audiences on the edge of their seats, wanting to know more.

This second instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series has a more captivating storyline with new and original characters. Fantastic Beasts succeeds on putting a new twist onto the wizarding world we have all come to love, taking advantage of all visual and special effects technology to enhance the beloved creatures from the wizarding world and be able to give these wonderful creatures their own little personalities within the films.

In my opinion as an avid follower of all the Harry Potter films and now the Fantastic Beasts series, I feel that “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is able to restore some of the original magic and made subtle references within the film such as our visits to Hogwarts and the presence of a young, dashing Albus Dumbledore and the mention of Albus’s old friend, Nicolas Flamel, the film is also able to create a world with its own defined signature on the wizarding world, opening the door wide for any future, more exciting instalments!

Posted by Sophie Abel

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