Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is quite simply a feast for the eyes. It’s a marvel that takes you on a phenomenal journey where you find yourself gasping and covering your mouth in shock.
The opening sequence was brilliant. The way it was filmed and orchestrated, we were confronted with parts that were dark and menacing, elements that made you think back on the good old Harry Potter Deathly Hallows days. I absolutely loved the way this movie was filmed. David Yates delivers the classic camera angles that provide us with an extra level of intensity in specific scenes. I’m a sucker for the perspective close up shots, so the scene where we’re taken into Pickett’s point of view had me grinning from ear to ear.
The costumes were amazing! Colleen Atwood returns to deliver some breathtaking pieces. I wouldn’t mind some of those gowns and jackets in my own wardrobe. I felt they really added to each character and created an extra layer in the sense of who they were. The scenery as always is breathtaking, from the water shots in London, to (of course) Hogwarts, where we are treated to beautiful imagery. Naturally, going back to Hogwarts had me slightly jumping up and down in my seat. Again, I loved the parallels drawn here to Harry Potter.
There were some parts I felt to be quite rushed, like the reasoning as to how Jacob came back to the Wizarding side and the circus scenes. Other parts seemed to maybe extend a bit too long. However I’m not complaining as I’ll gladly take anything J.K. Rowling sends our way. I also wish there were more Fantastic Beasts than what was shown. Admittedly Niffler won my heart in this film. And of course Pickett is back to charm us again.
The character work was brilliant. The relationships between each character were accomplished quite well. I loved the sequence where Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Newt (Eddie Redmayne) are discussing things. Newt and Tina (Katherine Waterston) had a new feel about their relationship in this film. Queenie (Alison Sudol) for me almost channelling Ron (in a certain Harry Potter film) which set things up well for what was to follow. Jacob (Dan Fogler) and Queenie together again! Their opening scenes in Crimes of Grindelwald more than make up for the sadness we experienced with that ending in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We now see their relationship blossom into that of a serious love. Newt and Jacob, as always I love their friendship. They just have this air of completing each other. Some really funny quips between the two of them that had me laughing at the screen. Theseus (Callum Turner) and Newt, considering what we already know when it comes to the relationship between the two brothers, their journey was one that really impacted me. There was a shift in their relationship that could lead to some really great moments in the future. Leta (Zoë Kravitz), Newt and also Tina, this little triangle of emotion was a great addition to the film. It was interesting to see how these characters interacted individually and then all together. There’s a scene towards the end that had such a great energy about it, and then it becomes something quite tonal in feel. Again, I was getting Harry Potter feels in this part. Jacob and Nicolas Flamel (Brontis Jodorowsky) had a lovely scene together in which we, via Jacob, were introduced to the infamous alchemist, who left his mark in this film. We also gained some insight into Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and Dumbledore, the approach was everything. Jamie Campbell Bower reprising his role as Young Grindelwald made me so happy. We discover some interesting nuggets of information and are left wishing we’d see more of their background together. Credence (Ezra Miller) and Nagini (Claudia Kim), I loved how their characters were connected throughout and also intertwined with the rest of the story. There were some lovely moments with sheets of fabric that created a great juxtaposition to the manic that usually surrounds them. The character work was really strong and I was going to say I have SOME favourites, but you know what, they were ALL my favourites. Even the villains. I’m going to go out there and say it, but I think Grindelwald is a better villain than Voldemort. That’s another thing, I think I see it more that way due to the fact we’re getting more of an insight into Grindelwalds history. Or rather how he established himself as the villain. Johnny Depp captures the character really well, his mannerisms and the way he talks, you can really see how great an actor he is. Same goes for Eddie Redmayne, no one else can play Newt in my eyes. When he’s interacting with a new beast again, he gets so into the character and his whole body is embedded in whatever the mission of the moment is. When he’s interacting with the beasts or when he’s searching through the streets of Paris he’s in the moment 100%.
The fight sequences were fantastic! All of them. I had chills when the brothers slammed their wands to the ground and the interaction between the heroes and villains had me holding my breath and gasping. Then comes the final scene. I’m quite an audible person, so when that scene came about, one part in particular you only heard me gasp in shock. Then I was again jumping up and down in my seat, grinning (as I sometimes do) like a Cheshire cat, wishing I could replay the scene over and over again. Thinking about it now I’m giddy with excitement.
I already plan on seeing it another two times with family and friends, but let’s be honest, I’ll probably see it a few more times on top of that. (Try to match the 300+ times I’ve seen Fantastic Beasts on TV). If you’re a massive Wizarding World fan, you’ll LOVE it. If you’re not, you’ll still love it. We’re still discussing and piecing things together, to the point I’m currently looking into all the histories of the characters featured in Crimes of Grindelwald. I would also recommend re-watching all the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films before you watch Crimes of Grindelwald. Just because.