The second instalment in the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts, The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling. Continuing on from its predecessor, the film begins with the escape of the powerful Dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who has set about gathering followers to begin his plan to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. To stop him, a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists the help of his former student, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). As the wizarding world is increasingly dividing, love and loyalty are tested, and many truths will be revealed that will change the wizarding world as we know it.
The following post is a review of the film only. You can read my review of the book here.
With more references to the original Harry Potter stories, including a scene in Hogwarts with Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, this second instalment is just as magical as the first and finally starts getting into what we’re all really here for – to see the conflict and history between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.
With new fantastical beasts, a darker plot, new characters we’ve been looking forward to meeting, and a look at the magical wizarding world in Paris to further expanding our experience of the franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald is very different from the first prequel but it also has so much more to be excited about.
Overall, I love the story and the nostalgia of this spin-off, but there is one major problem with it: it is painfully limited for fans of the franchise.
If Rowling had written a book version of this trilogy instead of making them straight into films away, then I might have been able to forgive this film, as a book would have allowed more time to be spent on the plot twists, revelations and characters.
There are so many new names introduced in this second film that it’s hard to follow who is who at times, especially when there are twists aplenty concerning who is related to who and who is actually somebody else entirely. A book would have allowed more time to be spent on each of these characters individually and more depth into their backgrounds. But because of the limited detail, characters like Nagini seem massively underused when their name alone holds so much power, characters like Queenie aren’t allowed time to shine as they were in the first film and time isn’t given to explaining certain actions, and characters like Leta Lestrange aren’t given enough time for us to get to know them properly when we have spent over a year looking forward to meeting them.
It does too much in too little time, feeling like a teaser rather than the real thing. And not only that, but it also overrides so much of what we know about Dumbledore and Grindelwald from Rowling’s previous films.
So much more is needed for Harry Potter fans. However, I will always love anything Harry Potter related and, just like the first film, this second instalment ends on another huge cliffhanger, keeping you rooted on the edge of your seat and eager for the next one!
On a final note, I hate the casting of Johnny Depp, but I absolutely love the casting of Jude Law, Callum Turner, and Zoë Kravitz.