The Crimes of Grindelwald
"There is no magic in magic. It's all in the details."
- Walt Disney
This film has too much of detailing and yet the magic is weak.
The film begins a few months after where it's predecessor ended. The previous film started by taking the viewers through the newspapers, introducing us to a faceless Gellert Grindelwald. This film takes us right into his prison cell and we begin the journey with him, this time. As one would expect, Gellert pulls off a 'prison break' and early on in the film we're told that this film's going to focus less on The Fantastic Beasts and is going to delve more into The Crimes of Grindelwald that are just about to begin...
"In a scene within the film, Leta Lestrange asks Newt about what makes him so endearing to strange creatures. The answer is that both of them can see the magic within each other, the magic which makes them special. I wonder what makes Eddy Redmayne so likable in all his films".
It also plays at a meta-level while drawing parallels between the antagonists and protagonists from the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter Series. We get to witness the events behind the creation of the book that Potter reads during his foundation years at Hogwarts (author-reader connection). This is the book that gave him the ability to form a bond with his Griffin, his compassion towards his Owl and the ability to duel the Hungarian Horntail (from The Goblet of Fire). On the other hand, Grindelwald and Voldemort He-who-must-not be-named are people who are hell-bent on establishing wizard supremacy on the muggle/no-maj world no matter what it costs. The difference, however, is that while Grindelwald's a revolutionary/terrorist, Tom Riddle was just pure evil (The Dark Lord). Perhaps this and Depp's unenchanting performance makes Grindelwald come across as a mellow villain when compared to Ralph Fienne's scalar performance as Voldemort.
"A scene where an Infant suffers a horrific fate from a wand shows that Gellert is more human than Riddle was. While Tom wanted to kill a young Harry himself, Grindelwald just couldn't see the child's death and asked his henchwoman to do it instead".
Grindelwald the character is fine, but the actor, Depp is hamming. It's peculiar how this connects him with Aamir Khan as both these stars are trying to inculcate the monotonous antics of there previous performances within their contemporary work. To be honest, I feel Colin Firth did it better in the previous film (We only see Grindelwald at the first film's end but technically he was there all along) as Percival Graves. This, however, is just a minor issue with the film.
A particular gentleman sitting next to me in the theater decided to "doze-off " when he failed to keep up with the volume of the film's plot points and juggling of easter eggs (fans who'll keep an eye out for them will surely have a great time). The (screen)writer J.K. Rowling is overpowered by the author in her. She has a complex task of building the details for future sequels in the franchise while staying true to her literary wizardry.
"Please, do take a crash course about Potterverse and Fantastic Beasts before you watch this film".
A scene has Newt confirming if Jacob suffers from motion sickness. The complex plot and screenplay will leave your head shaken not stirred.
There's too much going on in this film - A ministery appointed wizard mercenary, The relationship between Newt and Tina, Jacob and Queenie's in a complicated affair, the love triangle between Leta, Newt, and his brother, The Lestrange family dispute, bond that Albus & Gellert share, Credence (with his desperate search for his mother) & Nagini's connection and a girl called Bunty who has a crush on Mr. Scamander, all of this taking place within a modest 133 minutes of runtime. Many characters in the film along with the magic remain lesser explored.
"The plus one hundred points for Gryffindor moments" :
- The portrayal of the bond between Dumbledore and Grindelwald (a pact of "Blood") & Credence-Nagini(two "Blood" cursed maledictus) - The treatment of the script.
- The film has Mesmerising Visuals and Fantastic Beasts - The Visual Effects and Cinematography.
- A chase in the Ministry library has a background score that resembles the one from Ben-Hur's Finale (1959 ). The chase and big moment scenes work well.
- A Titanic-like tragedy is heart-wrenchingly captivating.
- The climax is literally lit - The execution in the film's third act.
- Jude Law is at his charming best and matches the endearing quality of Headmaster Dumbledore - The Acting.
- The Niffler is a star and carries out the greatest 'heist' ever in the wizarding world - The fun and surprise.
- The film 'atones' and 'attains' redemption when it takes us back to Hogwarts after 7 long years. I felt like an alumnus when Leta goes down the memory lane after opening up a scribbled classroom desk.
The film gets back on its feet when the climax arrives although a bit too late. The climax is full of heartbreaks, the kind that Potterverse is famous for. It finishes off in style with big reveals and cliffhangers. A Phoenix instills hope that perhaps this franchise too will rise back again from the ashes and shine with brilliant flames again.
Side Note: "I and Newt Scamander have a common fear - working at a desk job".
*Important easter egg: You'll meet the alchemist who is responsible for the events of the first Potter film.
– Sarthak Awasthi
"Through the 2 lenses of my Spectacles"
*logos/imagery shown are trademarks & properties of their respective owners.