Where do we go after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald?
When anything Harry Potter related hits shelves, theaters and party venues, it’s more than likely that thousands will buy it, see it and wish they could throw something as lavish. But to borrow a few words from another franchise, “with great power comes great responsibility” so it was expected that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald would get mixed reviews. After all, you can’t please everyone—especially when the spectrum includes the diehards and the watching-just-for-funs.
Some people don’t like the pacing, others wish the characters were a little more fleshed out. So in the name of to each their own, here’s our take:
You need some HP knowledge
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will give you context, but it’s not enough for you to fully appreciate the film in its entirety; you need to have some knowledge of Harry Potter. The names that are named, the characters that are introduced, the themes and concepts—you’ll need history on your side to keep up. We’re not saying you need to be an expert, but you should at least have some grasp of the magical world.
Some characters deserved more airtime
We’re not sure if it happened during script writing or editing, but some characters definitely needed more airtime. As a prequel to the Harry Potter franchise, you’d think that the younger versions of our beloved characters would give us more insight into their lives, but The Crimes of Grindelwald failed in this aspect.
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Instead of completing the puzzle, we’re given a tight look into their pasts. There were one sentence explanations, 10-second flashbacks and rather mysterious statements where whole discussions should have been.
A lot goes down
We’re going to put this out there: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald kind of fucks up the Harry Potter timeline. People aren’t at the age they’re supposed to be and there’s no existing trace of the origin of a central character. In this sense, the movie is kind of a mess.
But there’s a solution to this, which we think you should seriously consider.
The film, on its own, is still pretty great. Personal issues aside, pitting Johnny Depp against Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law was almost genius. The endearingly awkward nature of Redmayne is pivotal in the film and partners well with the wisdom Law is always able to inject into his characters. Meanwhile, the villainy of Depp is frightening on and off-screen.
On the action side of things, there is definitely more to see in The Crimes of Grindelwald. The fights are faster paced, the spells are more powerful and the themes are—maybe strangely—more moving. It asks important questions, it forces you to choose a side and it drops bomb after bomb as the film gets going. Seriously, you won’t know what hit you. There were moments where the cinema was filled with audible gasps.
Besides, the film brings you back to Hogwarts, which has become a fictional home to millions of people around that world. That bird’s eye view of the school and that iconic soundtrack as the camera brings you inside its halls makes the price of a ticket almost worth it.
So take the film at face value. Enjoy The Crimes of Grindelwald as it was meant to be enjoyed. Take your Harry Potter know-how with you to keep up, but when things don’t align in the universe, just roll with it. If you don’t, you’re guaranteeing yourself a lousy time and why would you do that to yourself?
Art Alexandra Lara