By Daniel Paiz
Another highly anticipated movie, another Cypher Flicks review.
Luckily for those of you unable to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on opening night (or opening weekend), we have a spoiler-free review right here.
No major plot points will be spoiled; however, minor things from previous knowledge of this series may slip. If you are a hardcore Harry Potter fan, this is a casual fan’s review. Let’s begin.
A tale of two films
For starters, things pick up with our fearless foursome of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), and of course Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) not all together.
In fact, they quite literally are scattered amongst a few different countries due to events that have taken place between films (and are briefly addressed).
The first half of this movie is a wonderful reminder of just how talented Newt is with creatures of all kinds.
It doesn’t seem possible for the magizoologist to observe, learn, and then understand how to interact with whatever he encounters, but he does.
The first half of the film also does a good job of giving some background on certain characters, namely Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), as well as laying the groundwork of why Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) is so sought after by both Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
Once characters new and old are established, the hunt for Credence takes center stage (as does a larger battle of good vs. bad, populist vs. multiculturalist, etc.).
The second half of the film feels tense, like a race against time. It also includes how some characters deal with trauma that has dictated most of their lives.
Did I mention Easter eggs?
Come for the creatures, stay for the Easter eggs
It’s difficult to keep track of everything shown here that was in the Harry Potter films.
There are characters mentioned in Potter that have important roles here, and there are callbacks to certain scenes that also reappear in this film.
It’s one of those the more you know, the richer and more layered this film is for you.
In some ways, the main characters help along a storyline fans already know, but don’t realize they know (see, that could’ve been a spoiler!).
Also, words are said that are eerily similar to what you might hear in the news today. At times, it can hit too close to home. But, it also leads you to reassess which side you’re on (even if you don’t do sides).
There is something important this film does that I haven’t seen much this year in movies: exploring how to cope with trauma.
Coping with trauma is necessary
There are multiple times throughout this film where characters are forced to process pain, trauma, and/or loss in order to make decisions.
Bottling up those issues does not bode well for those who choose not to; it kind of dictates their storyline.
Those who work through whatever issue they are facing are stronger for it and their character makes better decisions. It’s refreshing to see because it’s a reminder of how important doing so is for all aspects of your life.
With that, find the answers you seek by going to check this one out; like Credence, it might just help you figure out who you are.