Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review


Harper Hanson, Staff Writer

As an avid Harry Potter fan, I cannot write a disappointing review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; however, I do recognize confusion and disappointment throughout. Crimes of Grindelwald was magical but unnecessary. If its point was to continue on the five-movie franchise, it didn’t succeed in enhancing the story. It felt as if its only point was to introduce new characters, in which these characters stories were still not fully developed and clear by the end. These stories were missing the background and depth that we got from so many of the characters in The Harry Potter series.

The Harry Potter series was known for starting a plot line and finishing it within one movie excluding the last two, whereas it feels like Crimes of Grindelwald is dragging on one story for five movies for profit. It seems as if the Fantastic Beasts Franchise is being created for money more than for entertainment.

That is not to say I did not enjoy the movie. It was entertaining, and for those who read the Harry Potter books, exciting because of the intertwined universes. From little easter eggs of the deathly hallows symbol being carved in a desk, to Nicholas Flamel appearing in the movie, who is famous for the creation of the Sorcerers Stone (hence the first Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), to Leta Lestrange ( Zoe Kravitz) distant relative to Bellatrix Lestrange, these little tidbits made the movie worth its while. This is what made the movie enjoyable for me to watch.

As the movie continued on, it was very apparent that the Fantastic Beasts Franchise was introducing a level of darkness that was never seen in the Harry Potter series. Although death was an apparent theme in the Harry Potter Series, so was love: in Crimes of Grindelwald, there was only death. It was no longer about a magical boy going to school and facing adversity. Crimes of Grindelwald was about a war and choosing a side. From the death of a family to the death of individuals, Grindelwald was merciless, killing anyone to fit his means; killing anyone for the cause of the “Greater Good.” Fantastic Beasts is now targeting an older audience; targeting the Harry Potter fans who have grown up and those who have just entered this magical world.

One question the movie has left me with is, will they ever directly address Dumbledore’s (Jude Law) sexuality. JK Rowling announced in 2007 that famous professor Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series is gay. In fact, she announced that he was in love with his former friend Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Both men appear in Crimes of Grindelwald, but this time on different sides of the war. The movie did reveal an underlying bond between the two men, but never directly said anything, so will Dumbledore’s sexuality never be fully addressed like in the Harry Potter books, or will the Fantastic Beasts Franchise change that?

This movie’s point was to leave you wanting more and  keeps you guessing for the next one. By ending with a cliffhanger, the story did not finish, keeping fans wishing for more. Crimes of Grindelwald left me not only questioning the movie, but Harry Potter knowledge of timelines. It left me seeking answers and asking for more. Crimes of Grindelwald did succeed in its goal to keep watchers hooked, but did it succeed in a fulfilling movie that satisfied the loyal Harry Potter fan?

Despite Crimes of Grindelwald not living up to my expectations as a whole, I continue to be excited for the coming movies and how the rest of the series plays out. I did not dislike the movie, but some of the elements within. My looming questions are in need of answers and that is what I hope the coming movies will fulfill.