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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – review

I just realised I haven’t posted my review of this amazing movie yet. So let’s rectify that right now! Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released on November 14, 2018. I’ve seen it 4 times in the movie theatre and can’t wait for the DVD release so I can watch it again. I was a bit scared to go see it at first, because several movie reviews said it wasn’t great. But I kind of disagree with that. The first movie was an introduction to this world, so a lot already happened there. The second movie was more of a set-up for the other three movies to come. But we still did learn a lot of new information and the universe grew bigger once again.

Plot

So the movie starts with Gellert Grindelwald escaping custody during his transfer from America to Europe. Three months later, we meet Newt Scamander in the Ministry of Magic, where he wants to appeal his international travel ban (which he got after the events of the first movie). There, he sees Leta Lestrange, a childhood friend who is now engaged to be married to his auror brother Theseus. Newt is told he has to help his brother find Credence, in order for his ban to be lifted. But when he hears a ruthless bounty hunter is involved as well, he refuses and leaves.

Afterwards, Newt meets with a young Dumbledore, who asks him to find Credence as well. To save him from both the Ministry and Grindelwald. Because Grindelwald is after him and his powerful magic, while the Ministry wants him thinking he is Leta’s long-lost half-brother. He goes to America to visit Queenie and Jacob and then goes to Paris to find Credence (where Tina is as well, doing the same). Credence is indeed in Paris. He has joined a circus, but escapes it along with captive performer Nagini (yes, that Nagini! She turns out to be a woman who can change into the snake we all know and loathe). They go looking for Credence’s birth mother.

Tina is then captured by Yusuf Kama, who is also looking for Credence. Luckily, Newt and Jacob find her and save her. Queenie in the meantime ends up in the hands of Grindelwald. He lets her go, but not before playing on her desire to marry Jacob, which she can’t under American law as it forbids marriages between wizards and muggles. Grindelwald recongises her talent and wants her to join him. But he lets her go.

Newt and Tina break into the French Ministry of Magic, to find documents to find out who Credence is. They are discovered by Leta and Theseus and all four of them go to the Lestrange family tumb, where they find Yusuf. As it turns out, Yusuf was married to Leta’s mother, but she was kidnapped by Leta’s father and died giving birth to Leta. That is why he wants to kill Leta’s brother (Corvus, who they think is Credence) to get revenge. But then Leta admits that her brother Corvus died while the ship they took to go to America sank.

Everybody then goes to a rally for Grindelwald’s followers to find Grindelwald. Grindelwald shows visions of a future war, between the Muggles and the magical community – which he calls inevitable because of the American wizard laws which prevent them from acting to stop the war. He urges his followers to spread the word as the rally is surrounded by Theseus and the other aurors. Queenie and Credence join Grindelwald and Leta sacrifices herself so Newt, Tina, Jacob and Theseus can escape safely.

In the hubbub, Newt steals a vial from Grindelwald, which he takes back to Dumbledore. In the vial is a blood oath, that Grindelwald and Dumbledore made when they were younger, preventing them from ever fighting each other. Dumbledore wants to destroy it, so he can join the fight against Grindelwald. In the final scenes, we meet Grindelwald in Austria where he gives Credence his first wand. With that, he reveals Credence’s true identity: Credence was born Aurelius Dumbledore, younger brother of Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore. Credence is pleased to know who he is and so angry that he blasts apart a mountainside with his new wand. The end.

Discussion

You know, for a movie that is called “the Crimes of Grindelwald”, we see very little of Grindelwald. And, from the canon, knowing that Dumbledore is supposed to beat him, he was also not in the picture much. Of course, the movies have started from the point of view from Newt, but I think it must shift to more of Dumbledore/Grindelwald soon. Right? I mean, when they started talking about the 5 movies, it was said they movies would culminate in the big fight where Dumbledore beats Grindelwald. Though I am curious how all that will happen. Because Newt was keeping out of the entire thing, though his hand has been forced a bit now. But from the Harry Potter-books, we know that he is only famous from his books. There is no mention of him in the whole Grindelwald-saga. But then again, there is also no mention whatsoever of a third Dumbledore brother or Credence in general. And there are some more inconsistencies, like Dumbledore teaching DADA (while the other books only spoke of Transfiguration) and McGonagall being a teacher at Hogwarts before she should have been born already. So who knows what will happen, right?

The first time I saw the movie, I was also sure that the big reveal at the end was bullcrap. There is no way Dumbledore has another brother, right? He was on the ship from England to America, where Leta switched him out with her own brother. So why would Credence only be on the ship, and not the others? Or why don’t we know about it? And we all know Grindelwald is good at manipulating people and telling them what they need to hear to get them over to his side. So my initial gut reaction was to believe Dumbledore and think Grindelwald is full of crap, trying to manipulate Credence.

Also, Voldy’s snake Nagini was originally a woman? Whuut? Not only is that farfetched, it’s also incredibly creepy! So she is apparently something called a “Maledictus“, which is someone who is blood-cursed. That curse causes them to change into an animal, in this case a snake, and after a while they will no longer be able to change back into a human and remain the animal forever. So somehow, between these events in Paris and when Harry’s parents are killed, she ends up with Voldemort. No idea if she is a full-time snake at that point, or if she is still changing back. Nope, nope, nope!

Anyway, i’m going to stop thinking about it now. I just want to get to the next movie to see what’s up and what’s been going on! What are your theories? Please share them in the comments!

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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