I’m sure you are all aware of the fact that the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ came out a few weeks ago and if you follow me on Instagram (@theoriginalbookdragon), then you would know that I went to see it a couple of weeks ago with my one of my closest friends, who is just as much of a Harry Potter fanatic as me! I know there have been a lot of mixed opinions on this film, so I thought I would add to the discussion and tell you what I thought of the film. This will be a spoiler-filled review as I can’t really talk about it without spoiling it, but I’m pretty sure everyone’s seen it at this point anyway, so let’s just get into the review!
Overall, I did really enjoy the film and I do love the fantastic beasts series, but I did have some problems with the continuity of the world and generally some of the plot points didn’t quite make sense. I am going to go through all of my thoughts as I had them written down, so there likely won’t be any order to them, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. The first thing I wanted to talk about it the appearance of Nicholas Flamel because this was my FAVOURITE part of the film! He is quite a key character in the Philosopher’s Stone and we hear a lot about him, but we never get to meet him, so meeting him in this film was so amazing because it really made me feel like we were getting more of a backstory to the story and characters that I have already fallen in love with. I also think it was a great link to make because it clearly links the 2 series together, which I think makes it even more magical. I also loved that he actually looked his age because usually when you have an ‘immortal character’ they regain most of their youth, but Nicholas Flamel actually looked like he was 500 something years old and you can see that he is very delicate from when Jacob shakes his hand and nearly brakes it. I thought that was a really nice detail and added some more realism to the story.
Speaking of Jacob, I absolutely love him! I liked his character in the first film, but you can really see his development and growth as a character in the second film. He is a strong, practical and funny character who often gets left out or laughed at because he can’t do magic, but he takes it all in his stride and helps in anyway that he can. We also see more of Queenie and Jacob’s relationship in this film, which I have some very mixed feelings about. I wasn’t sure how I felt about their relationship in the first film, but now I’m not sure I’m really on board with it. I have also gone off Queenie a bit. I completely understand why she chose to go with Grindelwald because she wanted to marry Jacob, but I also think that the problem could have been solved if they’d just talked to each other. I also don’t really understand why they didn’t just move elsewhere in the world if they wanted to get married. It is stated quite clearly in the first film that you aren’t allowed to marry muggles if you live in America, but we know for a fact that this rule doesn’t exist in the UK, so why didn’t they just move there if they wanted to get married that badly? I also hated that Queenie put Jacob under a spell to make him marry her because it takes away his free will and isn’t something that would happen in a healthy relationship. I also feel that Queenie abuses her power as a witch and a legilimence. She uses the fact that she has magic and Jacob doesn’t to control him and they can’t have a proper conversation because she just reads his mind. The whole relationship really seems to have gone down hill for me, so I’m currently not on board with it, but expect a lot of my questions will be answered in the following films because we still have 3 to go, so the story definitely isn’t over yet.
“What Mr Scamander fears above everything else is…?”
“Having to work in an office, sir.”
That was quite a lot of sensitivity, so let’s talk about some of the things I did really love! The first thing was the inclusion of other characters that we see in the Harry Potter books that we all know and love like Nagini. We get to see her backstory and it has left me with so many questions. When does she permanently turn into a snake? Why does she end up with Voldemort? Does it have anything to do with Credence or Grindelwald? I have so many questions and again I love that we get to see characters that are mentioned in the original stories because it helps me to draw connections between the two and understand how they are linked.
My second favorite part of the movie was definitely when we got to go back to Hogwarts! I wasn’t expecting to ever see Hogwarts on the big screen again, but we did and at several points. We got to see it during flash backs and see Hogwarts 100 years earlier than as we currently know it, we got to see Dumbledore as a teacher as we see in Chamber of Secrets through the diary flashback and we also get to see that Dumbledore has always been just as mystifying and doesn’t like to follow the rules. I have heard a lot of people saying that Mcgonagall shouldn’t have been there because she is significantly younger than Dumbledore and wouldn’t have yet been teaching there, which is correct, so if it is the Mcgonagall we know and love then that was a continuity error, but my mum pointed out that we know that families often teach at Hogwarts for generations, so the Mcgonagall we see in the film could have been our Minerva Mcgonagall’s mother because we never heard her first name.
Another one of of my favourite things about the film is the way they showed us more of the magical communities around the world and the more complex magic that we don’t get to see in the original stories. We get to see the French Ministry of Magic and we see witches and Wizards from all around the world. I found it so interesting to see all of the other wizading communities and get such a huge expansion to a world that was previously very much confined to the UK. We also got to see much more complex magic such as the spell that Nicholas Flamel helped them all perform to get rid of the fiend fire was phenomenal. A lot of people didn’t like the inclusion of all the new spells on the grounds that they weren’t included in the original story and you can’t just make spells up, but you have to remember that the original story was told from the point of view of a teenage boy. Harry was in school and was only just learning about the magical world and how to harness his power, so you can’t expect him to have the same skill set at a fully grown adult wizard. You also can’t expect any of them to have the power that Nicholas Flamel has because you have to remember that he is 500+ years old and has therefore had a lot of time to practice magic and create/learn new spells. I loved all of the new magic because it just expanded a world I already loved and I really like seeing the world from adults points of view who already know everything about the wizading world and not from the point of view of a rather clueless and unobservant teenage boy.
Let’s talk about Dumbledore shall we. I love Dumbledore as a character, but I have never really decided whether I do or don’t like him and I still have no idea. What I did like about Dumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald though was first of all the fact that we find out that he has always been just as sassy and disobedient as we know him in the future, but most of all I LOVE that we finally get to find out what he sees in the mirror of Erised. That was always one of the unanswered questions that we all just assumed we would never get an answer to because we all knew he was lying when he said he saw socks, but we got our answer, which was mostly just satisfying. I think most people guessed that it would be Grindelwald, but it is just nice to have that piece of information confirmed. The thing I didn’t like about the whole Dumbledore situation though was the fact that they had a PERFECT opportunity to actually work the whole ‘Dumbledore is gay’ thing into the film especially with that line ‘Grindelwald is more than a friend’. It was the perfect chance and it was set up perfectly, but then it turned out that they were just like magical blood brothers and it was incredibly disappointing. Having that sort of representation in a franchise as popular as Harry Potter and have it be a pretty central story line too, would have been amazing, but no. They didn’t do it and I’m very disappointed by that.
“I don’t do sides”
The final thing I want to talk about before I go, because I am aware that this is a very long post is the whole Credence is a Dumbledore situation. I personally don’t believe this for a second. We don’t know all that much about the Dumbledore family because we only ever knew what Harry knew, which let’s be honest, wasn’t that much. The main reason why I don’t believe that at all is because it came from Grindelwald, who first of all is the bad guy, so he isn’t exactly trust worthy, second of all we are already well-aware of how manipulative and clever he is by his escape, his way of bringing Queenie over to his side and the way he speaks to the crowd he gathers at the end. The biggest reason why I don’t believe him though is because in the first film, Grindelwald is disguised as Graves, who doesn’t know that credence is the obscurus. He thinks it is his sister and is genuinely shocked when he finds out it is Credence, so I don’t believe for a moment that in the space of the few days that this movie takes place in, he manages to find out all of this information about him and suddenly knows everything. I don’t know who he actually is because all that talk about what Leda did was really confusing, but I have heard that a lot of people believe that the obscurial might have used to have been Ariana Dumbledore’s and that it somehow transferred itself to Credence. I went get into the fan theories because they are far to complex and this post is already incredibly long, but I know that there are an awful lot of them and I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
That is the end of this Incredibly long film review for The Crimes of Grindelwald! As you can see, I did really enjoy the film as a whole because of the expansion and development to a world a love and the main characters are some of my favourites ever, despite having some problems with it. I think everyone in the Harry Potter fandom knows that anything made after the original seven books is always a little off and doesn’t quite match up because that just seems to be how J.K.Rowling rolls; I mean we all remember The Cursed Child! I enjoyed it none the less though and I can’t believe we have to wait until 2020 for the next film!!! Have you watched the Crimes of Grindelwald? What are your thoughts on it? I’d absolutely LOVE to know, so definitely leave a comment down below or come chat to me on my Instagram (@theoriginalbookdragon)!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out