Fantastic Movies and Where to Find Them
By Siera Millard
Picture by fantasticbeasts.net
**WARNING: May Contain Spoilers**
For many fans of the Harry Potter universe, the new Fantastic Beasts movies are a subject for doubt, as any spin-off series will inspire. However, JK Rowling has yet to fail us. This new series is one that does not disappoint. It’s graphics, plot, and exceedingly talented actors already have many obsessed - Potterheads or not. The newest film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, was released November 16th and Its success must be taken from two perspectives: the Potterhead and the average viewer.
From that of a Potterhead: the movie is magnificently magical, but does not quite measure up to that of the original Harry Potter universe. In a franchise as overwhelming popular and consumingly brilliant as this universe is, any deviation from the original magic will never equal - if only due to a sense of loyalty. Nevertheless, fans can enjoy this movie for what it is - a look at the stories briefly presented in the original series, and a new set of characters to love. Throughout the movie, viewers are delighted by hidden gems and connections that only fans will take heed of. A negative of this aspect is that these gems seem to be thrown in for the mere purpose of including them. Nicholas Flamel makes his debut, the Philosopher’s Stone kept casually in one of his cabinets; the Lestrange family name appears in a new light; and a much younger Dumbledore catches the audience by surprise, a different yet no less enthralling character. With the addition of new things that have never been seen before, and a new look at what has always been, Crimes of Grindelwald could have been a disaster for many fans. However, Rowling writes and David Yates (director of the last four Harry Potter movies) directs a fantastic film. Jude Law plays Dumbledore with all the dignity and confidence of a professor we are used to, and actor Eddie Redmayne continues to cultivate love in Newt Scamander, a character only briefly mentioned in the books. Without prior knowledge of the wizarding world, these things will remain just another element to the film. To the Potterhead, they give the film an element of surprise and the feeling that you are in on a secret, noticing snippets that the average view does not.
From that of the average viewer: from the soundtrack that you do not have to be a Potterhead to love to the believably crafted computer graphics, this movie has the potential to be the obsession of a new fandom. Johnny Depp, a well-known and loved actor, plays Grindelwald with an impeccable accent and all the wickedness of a dark wizard. Ezra Miller, surrounded by an aura of both innocence and near-cruel misunderstanding, began as the subject of the series, but has become less so in comparison to Grindelwald, the namesake of the new movie. Not only this, but the fantastic beasts of the movie have become another element that distinguishes the wizarding world, instead of a focus of the plot. This varying shift of main focus to main focus is one aspect that could have been improved. In all honesty, the series could have ended with the first movie and this extension is clearly just that - an unexpected continuance with no definite structure as to what it is mainly about. Regardless, Crimes of Grindelwald is filled with the magic of the wizarding world and newness of a series that will draw a new audience of watchers. Ending on a devastatingly suspenseful cliffhanger, it promises to continue the compelling new story of the Potter universe in films to come.
If you are looking for a fantastic movie, look no farther than Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald at your local theater.