He Says – The latest installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise hit theaters this weekend and I for one, was psyched. When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out in 2016, I was – like everyone else – thrilled to be back in the universe J.K. Rowling had created. I was intrigued by a wizarding world in which adults were more than mere set pieces as I could once again identify with the characters.
So yeah, I’ve been waiting for this movie for a while. That being said, I don’t really know what to say about the second Fantastic Beasts film. (Insert long awkward pause). The film is set in Europe with most of the action occurring in Paris, France. I was disappointed that the film was no longer set in the United States because it represented, in some small way a shrinking of the wizard world. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, magic became global, with local wizarding communities facing unique issues and having their own unique histories. In Crimes of Grindelwald, all roads lead back to Europe and Hogwarts, even the American wizards cross the pond to join the action. Don’t get me wrong, the settings were amazing (I would love to see the wizard nightlife setting explored more in the future), it’s just that I was hoping to see more global development of the wizarding world.
The crux of the plot centers around Ezra Miller’s character, Credence Barebone, who is searching for the identity of his birth parents all the while being pursued by the Ministry of Magic and basically everyone else. Throughout this drawn out search for information, the story moves forward in a manner that feels contrived and scene driven rather than as part of a cohesive whole. When the movie does move naturally, it is magical and fully draws you in, but these moments are broken up by convoluted lineages and disjointed perspectives. Miller does a good job developing the character of Credence further, but given the amount of screen time he gets, I had hoped for more. Eddie Redmayne once again delivered a stellar performance as Newt Scamander and I actually found myself sympathizing with Nagini by the end of the film.
Finally, regarding the title… I’m still not sure what Grindelwald’s crimes were and this kind of frustrated me. It seems titles are completely arbitrary in this universe since there is little time given to the fantastic beasts of the wizarding world, or the crimes Grindelwald is purported to have committed. I was left a bit baffled at this as I am sure you will be too.
The truth is, I actually did enjoy this movie quite a bit. The setting filled me with nostalgia, the characters made me laugh, and I was drawn into the universe J.K. Rowling created… but coming out of the film and reflecting on it, I’m not sure exactly what it is about it that made me like it. Maybe that’s part of the magic of this film…I give it 4 wands out of 5.
She Says – Alright don’t shoot me but I am not an avid Harry Potter fan. I must say I did enjoy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so I walked into this movie not sure if I would love or hate it.
I’ll try not to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it.
I am still a little on the fence as to whether I liked it or not. I love Newt. The way he cares for the beasts and his mannerisms just make him so lovable. There were a couple moments in the movie where I had a little chuckle at his peculiarity which made it fun. Also, I love how beautiful/ cute the filmmakers make these beasts, even if they’re meant to be scary.
I was glad to see they used the niffler again as it brought back memories from the first movie and made this one more fun.
I didn’t really care as much about the other characters in the movie and the ones from the last film were not as exciting for me. I found myself spending more time checking out their wardrobes or waiting for Newt to be on the screen.
There were a couple parts that lost me for a bit and I wasn’t sure if I understood what was going on. As the movie continued those things were made clear, but being confused made me lose a little interest. I also found a couple parts to drag and I may have wanted to take a quick nap until they got to the point.
The ending did leave me wanting to know more but I was also a little disappointed.
I wish they had even more beasts involved since Newt (may have a little crush on his quirky personality) and the beast are my favourites.
I’d rate it 3.5 out of 5 wands.