Streaming now on Netflix
The second installment of the five-part Fantastic Beasts series is here. If the previous film did not live up to the standards of the Potterverse, this film is here to put you back under the magic spell that was cast by the Harry Potter series. With more fantastic beasts and magic, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes us to the beginning of Grindelwald’s fight for power. The film itself is a beautiful foray into the magical world and has much to enjoy for regular film-going audiences too.
By the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by the MACUSA (American Ministry of Magic). He escapes prison and heads towards Paris, where Credence Barebore (Ezra Miller) is suspected to be. Back in Britain, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) relies on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to reach out to Credence and save him from Grindelwald and the Ministry of Magic, as the latter wishes to kill him. Also in Paris are Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) who now works as an Auror for MACUSA, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) who leaves after a fight with Jacob, and Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) a Ministry of Magic Auror, and Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz) who also works for the Ministry. There seems to be no other choice for Newt but to go to Paris, embarking on another magical adventure with his friend Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and the suitcase of fantastic beasts.
More magical than ever!
Potterheads wishing for more magic and more action from the movie series are in for a treat. After a tentatively mild prequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald surpasses expectations with its engaging story and brilliant performances. The cast is bigger than before and more prominent characters come into the limelight in this film. Even as their storylines converge, the plot does not feel too cluttered and everything simply comes together brilliantly and heads in a definite direction. While J. K. Rowling is definitely the one to credit here for the story, director David Yates also deserves a mention for giving us a beautiful foray into the writer’s vivid imagination.
Eddie Redmayne saves the day
After the first film, Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, quickly rose to prominence as a fan-favorite character. If you enjoyed Eddie in the first film, you will love him in this one. It may have not seemed possible but he gets even more adorable this time and it’s his interactions with the animals he loves so much that really warms your heart. Jude Law is everything you’d expect a younger Dumbledore to be – equal parts wise and crazy. Dan Fogler brings in a light-hearted comedy effect and he always succeeds in getting a chuckle out of you. Even Callum Turner and Zoë Kravitz impress in their short but significant roles.
Get transported into the magical world
What gives the story its magical touch are the special effects used throughout the film that have their own kind of charm. These effects not similar to the VFX we are used to seeing in other films. The magic in the Potterverse is unlike any other. The transitions are smooth and even the detailing on the magical creatures is exquisite. This franchise has always exceeded its expected production value and it only seems to be getting better with each film.
We want more Johnny Depp!
If there’s one complaint we might have with this film, it is that Johnny Depp is not what we expected him to be. We have seen the actor in some brilliant roles in the past but as Grindelwald, it would have been much more satisfying to watch him in a deeper and a more defined role. However, he is a worthy adversary.
WATCH OR NOT:
There’s no telling a Potterhead twice but even if you are not well-acquainted with the film series, you will find yourself thoroughly absorbed into the story. The film captivates you with its magic, its characters and the fantastic beasts that come with it all. In the end, there’s also a special surprise that will charm your socks off!
Director: David Yates
Writer: J. K. Rowling
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Jude Law, Johnny Depp
Streaming on: Netflix