Photo via The Verge
The latest installment in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is twice as fantastic as the first.
The movie chronicles the continuing journey of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his friends Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol), and Jacob (Dan Fogler) as they try to track down the young wizard Credence (Ezra Miller), who is struggling to control his powers.
The second film, however, is much less lighthearted than the first, exploring the growing political divisions between the wizarding governments and the followers of the dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who wants wizards to rule over those who do not possess magic.
The complex political intrigue that Rowling and the other writers create is fascinating enough, as are several clever twists in the movie. However, her lack of experience with screenwriting as opposed to her usual novel writing shows through as there are several subplots crammed into the length of one movie, making it feel disconnected at times. The overstuffed plot also somewhat overshadows the interesting characters and talented cast that plays them, but they still manage to shine through.
Fans were also upset by character changes that contradicted some elements of Rowling’s previously established canon. Although the frustration is easily understandable, especially coming from such committed fans, the mistakes are usually not terribly pertinent to the story and can be overlooked.
The movie is also quite visually stunning, with imaginative and realistic-looking creatures and spells. The sound and scenery complement the tone of each scene beautifully as well.
Overall, criticisms of the movie can certainly be made, but it is still brilliant in its own right.