“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”: Magical or dull?

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”: Magical or dull? Photo Credit: Mauricio Rodriguez

By Mauricio Rodriguez ’19

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” takes place in the same magical universe as the “Harry Potter” series but years before it. In this film, Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, is a magical wizard that specializes in magical creatures, and he has to go through obstacles in order to stop the sinister plans of Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. The film is filled with amazing special effects and characters, but it is  unfortunately burdened with a slow and dull plot.

One of the eye catching moments of the film is its use of special effects. Being set in a universe of magical beings, the special effects made the world seem as realistic as possible. Also, the film beautifully uses special effects to bring the audience into this magical world. As for the magic used in the film, the effects were mesmerizing. Seeing the different light spectacles was one of the highlights of the film that made it enjoyable to watch. Whether it was a spell for protection or a spell for lethal force, the special effects were hypnotic with all the bright colors being thrown here and there.

Another highlight of the film were the characters. Personally, the two characters that I felt I most gravitated towards was Newt Scamander and Gellert Grindelwald, which are the protagonist and antagonist respectively. I found the character Scamander interesting because you could tell he is genuinely a good person trying to carry out his life in a magical world. Additionally, he is clever and heroic when it comes to facing an obstacle. Apart from Scamander, Grindelwald also caught my eye in the first few minutes of the film. His dark and sinister presence emphasized the threat he was to the protagonist. What made him a great villain for the film was the idea that he had a purpose for his actions that were for what he believed to be: The good of the magical community.

The unfortunate thing about this film was its slow moving plot that I found somewhat boring at moments. I expected to see more action sequences in the film happening, but it was mostly Scamander trying to locate someone essential to their quest. I would have also enjoyed to see more battle sequences with Grindelwald and Scamander. In the end, I felt like the movie will leave fans of the previous film unsatisfied with the progression of the film let alone the conclusion.

Despite my praise for the characters, there are some who might disagree. One critic from Cinéfiloz, named Emmanuel Báez, said that Depp’s performance as Grindelwald was “ordinary” compared to how big the character should be. I disagree with this because I believe that Depp’s performance as Grindelwald was amazing since you could tell that he is feared among others.

  • Genre: Action, adventure, and fantasy.
  • Released Date: Nov. 16
  • Running Time: 134 minutes.