The Crimes of Grindelwald


Emma Rydeen, Reporter

If you are going to “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne, be prepared to be dazzled. Although I am not a big fan of Harry Potter, I really enjoyed this movie.

In the beginning scenes, the director answers some questions that might have been left lingering from the first movie. It didn’t take long for the audience to be immediately transported to a breathtaking sky scene. I felt like I was soaring through the clouds in a carriage being pulled by thestrals (a skeletal horse-like creatures that have wings).

What was so magical is how the movie incorporated all the different characters and kept a few of the fantastical little animals, but brought in a few new ones to dazzle the audience. For example, they brought back the original Niffler, a mole-like creature attracted to shiny objects) and added sweet baby ones. That scene was one of my favorites. The little Nifflers brought a smile to everyone’s face, and there were giggles in the movie theater audience. Soon, I was diving deep in the depths of a river with a kelpie.

One thing the movie did really well on was the computer graphics in the London and Paris backdrops. I felt transported to early 20th century London— gray and dreary and full of umbrella-wielding people. The wide open airy New York office of Wizardry from the first movie was contrasted with the British office which sported wood paneling, hushed carpeting and gilded frames and artwork. Then the change of backdrop to Paris was all light with bright colors with a carnival scene which was a feast for the eyes with dazzling filmwork.

I wish that they would have maybe spent more time with the younger Newt, Leta, and Professor Dumbledore and the magical Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Those scenes were short and left me longing for more. I was also hoping to see more of the fantastic beasts themselves or more interactions with them.

The cast from the first movie, especially Jacob (Dan Fogler) and his love Queenie (Alison Sudol) were excellent, and there are some laugh-out-loud scenes with them. However, there are one or two characters introduced that left more questions than answers. Although Jude Law [Dumbledore] is a talented actor, I felt his performance in this movie was lacking character. Several scenes that were supposed to be crucial to the character and plot development were so heavy-handed that it almost ruined the moment.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 4.5 out of five stars just for the incredible computer graphics and strong acting. While there might be those that might find it a bit much (or not enough), I was completely transported back to the world of wizardry and can’t wait to return.