Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second installment of a five movie series written and produced by J.K Rowling. Her nomination is extremely important not only because she is the creator of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but she also holds a special position for having the opportunity that literally no other creator in the world has today. Who else wrote seven fiction books that became the most successful franchise in the world, generated a theme park at Universal Studios, got a musical on Broadway and has the free rein to create not only one, but five movies that date seventy years back from her first story? Sorry, but regular rules don’t apply here. So let’s pay a little more attention when we talk about this sequence of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
First of all, this is not exactly a sequence of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but an official prequel to the Harry Potter franchise. It’s impossible to watch The Crimes of Grindelwald and understand all of the references without watching any one of Potter movies, which is exactly the opposite from the first movie. And I’m not saying this from a fan perspective, but if you don’t really follow the Potter logic, The Crimes of Grindelwald will become confusing, and I dare to say, even boring.
Unlike many of the prequels that are being made nowadays – like Star Wars, Jurassic World, Blade Runner, etc – Fantastic Beasts is made entirely for the people who has loved the Harry Potter series. The first movie may be a little different when it comes to that – an introduction to Newt Scamander, the Wizarding World in the 20s, etc. The Crimes of Grindelwald, however, is not a pure cinematic prequel, but a rich and complex expansion of the Wizarding World and the stories behind the characters we’ve learned how to love. And if you follow J.K Rowling’s career, you will see that she is not making all that up because of money. Having spent years building Harry’s story, she has created a world with profound family trees, historical events and facts which not always had become relevant in the Potter series, but through Fantastic Beasts, she can finally address them.
With that said, it’s very interesting to see that The Crimes of Grindelwald doesn’t feel like a movie – it feels like a book. Maybe it’s because J.K Rowling is a writer of books, and not scripts? After all, all of her books were adapted by Steve Kloves. Not that I’m saying J.K Rowling wrote a bad script for this film, but the way she builds her story, closes her arcs, spreads hints through the movie and brings the characters together are elements constructed in a way that seems closer to a novel than a movie. At least when we’re talking about Hollywood cinema, which at the end, is what Fantastic Beats is. But the fact that the creator has full control over her work, we have to pay attention on what she’s saying.
At the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, we realise that not much has advanced. But when we remember this is a five-part story, we have to take in consideration of how things here are built, which in my opinion looks like an introduction to what will come afterwards. This may sound a little strange for a second movie of a series, but that’s the part where I say that this movie differs from the first one. Yes, we have more beasts, we see the characters we’ve seen in the first one return, but the plots are way more complex, not only when it comes to story telling but by connecting of what we know from Harry Potter so far to what we still have to discover. This is extremely complex, and I dare to say J.K Rowling skids a little sometimes, but I believe it’s because of the medium she is using to tell this story. In a book we wouldn’t be so harsh, but in 120 minutes, we’re used to seeing things more round – at least in this kind of film. But as I’ve said before, the rules don’t apply here.
In short, I loved The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s beautiful, it’s extremely well made, it’s fun and it’s relevant when it comes to the current political context – having to choose sides, following leaders with extreme promises and having to deal with suffering. of our daily lives. More than that, is a comeback to the Harry Potter world with relevance and character.