The difference between the second installment of Fantastic Beasts is that it is darker and explores character development above plot which I personally prefer. The first installment, though still dark in theme, was lighter in mood and had more comedic scenes plus a lot of plot. Anything else would have been odd with it being the first movie and all. That said I do still find it interesting that Newt, the main character, is not the most likable person in this series, nor is Tina. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Jacob was the star with whom we, the audience, experiences the Wizarding World outside the walls of Hogwarts, and in Crimes of Grindelwald he still manages to steal the scene by becoming a more complicated character that we care deeply about. Joining him in the second installment is Queenie and Leta. These three are, in my personal opinion, the most interesting characters that are new to us. Of course I am fascinated by Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, though oddly enough still in two minds about Credence.
I know that a lot of people have expressed some confusion after watching this film but I must admit that I was not one of them. Sure it raises new questions and not a lot of answers but it is the second out of five films so do we really want all the answers now? You don’t need to be a huge fan of Harry Potter to keep up, and even if you are not a fan at all it is still an absolutely stunning film.
The beasts are back so no confusion there and we get a more solid answer as to why Dumbledore cannot duel Grindelwald (the Blood Pact – or pendant if you will) other than he was in love with him, which I am excited about. Blood magic is old and powerful so who knows what it will take to destroy it. I’m going to assume that it gets destroyed before their duel in 1945 but there are still a lot of questions regarding this piece of jewelry.
Characters turn out to be more complicated which will be addressed further down, and new characters are introduced – and die to some people’s dismay.
The whole ordeal with Credence is a section on its own due to complexity but whether you believe Grindelwald or not it was a bomb being dropped (and as the film’s endnote nonetheless).
My 3 favourite characters
The ambiguity of Queenie
Boy oh boy did we see another side of Queenie in this film but she desperately needed depth so I am more than pleased. What I don’t get is why everyone around me is saying that she is now evil. She went with Grindelwald, yes, but not because she is evil; because she is desperate. Right from the get go we find out that she put Jacob under some kind of love spell to make him go with her to Paris. Desperate people often do questionable things and I am definitely not picking sides, Queenie and Jacob are both right in their own way, but Queenie’s desperation is tipping over and she sees no other way out than taking drastic measures – such as casting a love spell so that everything will be as if nothing had happened. For better or worse, Grindelwald is offering her a way out by saying that he wants witches and wizards out of the shadows so that they can live their lives without the fear of per- and prosecution. I strongly believe that she doesn’t agree with, or care about, his methods, only his goal so that she can be with the man she loves. In her world nothing else matter or exist.
Jacob the Muggle
We are presented with a more serious Jacob and again I am excited about the depth of this character. He still has his funny moments but I am so relieved that he is given the opportunity to shine in another way and show who he is as a person. I feel so bad for Jacob because he is out of his depths. Even though I more than understand where Queenie is coming from, with him being a Muggle he is given no chance whatsoever. It’s not like he could block the spell, which makes the act highly questionable. Under the circumstances he takes it really well knowing that is comes from a place of love although he clearly doesn’t agree with the method. Over all he shows bravery and continues down the path of finding Queenie, despite his lack of magical abilities. I have no choice but to respect that.
The audience were introduced to Leta in the first film though only through a picture. We know that she and Newt shared a past and that she hurt him in some way and because she had been mentioned a fair amount in the first film I’m so glad she is so present in this one. Her story is sad indeed and I sincerely hope we’re going to learn more even though she tragically died at the end of the film because I still have questions. Such as why she attended Hogwarts in the first place when her family is French? Was she send away by her father, him not loving her so he wanted her as far away as possible? Was it her own decision? Perhaps she wanted to get away. She clearly didn’t return to France after she graduated – and if she did she clearly returned to England to work for the British Ministry of Magic.
Another question is: why is she engaged to Theseus Scamander when she so clearly is in love with Newt? Even though the frame has got both Theseus and Newt in it when she utters the words “I love you” only moments before she dies I am certain they are meant for Newt. In the article picture announcing Leta and Theseus’s engagement I don’t blame the writer for messing up the name (it is said that Newt and Leta are engaged) when you see how she clings to Newt’s arm. When Leta says to Newt “you never met a monster you couldn’t love” it made me wonder if she chose Theseus because she was afraid that Newt would discover her secret. I can imagine that Newt, in his simplicity, can see right through people and that may have frightened her. Or perhaps she didn’t think herself worthy of his love due to her dark secret. Why she would then choose his brother I am not sure but all of me is hoping that we get some answers in future films.
Many people have expressed their outrage or disappointment that Minerva McGonagall has an appearance in this movie because it messes with the timeline since she isn’t supposed to be born yet. To that I have to say: I don’t care. Here’s why: she appears in two very brief scenes, that’s it. Had she been all over this movie I would definitely have cared more (and honestly, you’d think she was when you read the comments of all these angry people – it’s like the Beauty and the Beast gay controversy all over again). I do have to add that if she is never used in the movies again I’m going to write it off as a slight inconvenience, and if she becomes a more important character just accept that this is J. K. Rowling’s story and that she
can do what the fuck she wants may do as she pleases. If it bothers people this much then don’t watch it, it’s a free world.
The eye of Grindewald
It is a non-issue really but I would have preferred if young Gellert had had two normal looking eyes instead of that evil blue half-stare he’s been provided with in the film. Wouldn’t it have been interesting if we, as the audience, were left to ponder what had happened from the time he was a teenager up until the events of Fantastic Beasts?
Again an non-issue but from what we know about the Philosopher’s Stone it makes more sense to me if the elixir of life would have frozen the person in time, thereby prolonging their life. From that perspective I would have liked to see a 50-60 year old looking Flamel being 600 whatever age instead of a almost dusty half-dead looking man.
I’ve read that he is seen as a needless character and I really don’t get that. Yes, he isn’t a main character and his appearances are short, but it seems to me that he is the obvious choice when you have characters who need a safehouse in Paris. Flamel lives in Paris and happens to be an old friend of Dumbledore so why wouldn’t he send them there? Second, he is used as an excellent plot device when Jacob needs to find Queenie, and third: he does help to defeat the blue flames of Grindelwald, which, on a different note, we still don’t know anything about. It can’t be fiendfyre since we’ve already seen that in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II and they are yellow/orange flames. My thoughts: the blue flames are of Grindelwald’s own invention and resembles the flames in Snape’s potion task in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. With them you had to take a potion but who says that Grindelwald can’t have used the same method but with the mind instead: anyone who has decided to follow him can go through without harm.
Credence being a Dumbledore
This issue is going to be addressed in a later post due to its extensive nature.
Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments down below.
One thought on “Personal thoughts on Crimes of Grindelwald”
Great summary – I didn’t find it confusing either, but I was definitely left with more questions than answers at a few points throughout the movie. Honestly, I loved it because it was delving so much deeper and drawing me in even further.