Film Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Story by Sarah Flakus, Staff Writer

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second of five films to come out in the Fantastic Beasts series, was released last Thursday, November 15. This series is the prequel to J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series and follows the story of how dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald rises to power during the 1920s.

The film was directed by David Yates, who also directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and stars Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law.

In the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne,) a caretaker for many magical creatures, teams up with Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) to find several creatures that are let loose in New York City. There is also a secondary, darker plotline that follows Creedence Barebone (Ezra Miller,) who is an obscurus (a kind of dark wizard) and threatens the secrecy of the magical world. At the end of this film, Creedence flees the country in order to escape those that are trying to destroy him.

The second film is a captivating story that again follows Newt Scamander. However this time, his mission is to find Creedence and lead him to the good side. It is a race against time though, as the antagonist of the movie, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp,) wants to use Creedence’s extraordinary powers for evil. Knowing this, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) secretly sends Newt to find Creedence before Grindelwald can, therefore limiting Grindelwald’s potential powers.

Being the avid Harry Potter fan that I have been for 10 years, I was very excited to see this movie and I was not let down. Like all movies in this franchise, there were many twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. The overall plot of the movie had a very dark tone to it, yet there were many light and playful scenes that provided comic relief for the audience, which I really enjoyed. Without those moments, the movie would have definitely lacked the light perspective shown in all movies throughout the franchise.

This movie also incorporated real-life issues that many are dealing with today, such as sexual orientation. Although J.K. Rowling, who wrote the script, does so subtly, she alludes to the fact that Dumbledore is gay. She had released the information regarding his sexuality in an interview for one of the original Harry Potter movies and wove it into the plot of this movie by hinting at a past romance between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

If you have watched the first Fantastic Beasts movie, I would 100% recommend going to the theater and seeing the Crimes of Grindelwald. Between the outstanding acting, perfectly interwoven plotlines, and attention to social issues, it might be my favorite movie I have seen in the theater all year.

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Film Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald