Do you know why I admire you, Newt? You do not seek power. You simply ask, “Is the thing right?”
Rating: 3 stars
Read: 28 December – 29 December, 2018
It hasn’t been long since I settled down to watch The Crimes of Grindelwald. I went with my expectations quite low to avoid any disappointment. I’ve made it known how much I hate the idea of this and The Cursed Child. J.K Rowling doesn’t seem to let her story live peacefully; she’d rather milk it because she knows her loyal fans will continue to spend an ungodly amount of money to live a moment extra in the wizarding world (yes, I am one of *those* people). But it’s like she doesn’t know her own story (The Cursed Child, for example). So, why do it?
Essentially, what frustrates me the most about Fantastic Beasts is that it has nothing to do with the beasts. The franchise takes inspiration from her textbook, in which she wrote in aid for Comic Relief, but the beasts play the smallest role in the story. They are convenient – a plot device that helps Newt out when he is in a muddle. Why, why, WHY couldn’t the narrative be a simple tale about Newt embarking on an adventure to find magical creatures? Why do we have the same, recycled story of Harry Potter?
There’s the bad guy (Grindelwald) who hates
or dislikes a certain type of people (in this case, it’s muggles) and wishes to overthrow or you know, destroy them. Then there’s the good guy (Newt, Dumbledore, Tina, etc.) who is supposed to tease out the evil and restore harmony once more. The only difference between this and say, well I don’t know, Harry Potter is Credence (who, by the way, is the defining character of Fantastic Beasts – pure brilliance). But do you get what I mean? It’s the same exact story, with different names, in a different country, in a different situation. It’s boring. It’s lazy. It’s unfair.
I struggle to know what the main point of Fantastic Beasts is. It evidently isn’t about the beasts, but is it Grindelwald? or is it Credence? There is so much emphasis placed on Credence’s lineage, but I can’t place it in the grand scheme of things. How will this play into the bigger picture? Is it inherently connected to Grindelwald’s agenda? Or is completely separate narrative? The last five minutes helped to contextualise it a little, but I’m still a little confused on the importance of this? WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Nevertheless, there are some elements that I can sing my praises for. Jude Law as Dumbledore is an instant win from me, although I wish he dressed in robes rather than a plain two piece. How can you go from a plain, boring suit to spectacular red robes? Where’s his hat? Doesn’t make sense to me. Grindelwald is also a more well-rounded villain than Voldemort; both he and his vision are more complex than Voldemort’s ever was. It’s an interesting dynamic – is he inherently evil? Mislead? confused? I’m interested to see where his story goes.
I think that’s as far as I can go with the positives, though. It was honestly a hot mess.
…and what was the last five minutes of that movie? Rowling seems to think that just because she’s the author and creator of this world, she is also the God of it. As with The Cursed Child, she twists and manipulates her own story in order to create a new one. You can’t write something in Harry Potter – like the time turner, for example – just to change it in a spin-off. It doesn’t work like that. If you can’t think of an original story that plays into the world you’ve already created, then don’t write one. Quite simple, really.
All-in-all, The Crimes of Grindelwald, as with the whole of the Fantastic Beasts series and The Cursed Child, is complete shambles. It shouldn’t exist. I’m super annoyed. Can she be stopped? And, if you were hear to read about the screenplay, then all you need to know is that it’s the exact same thing as the movie and you shouldn’t waste your money on it, especially when it costs £16.99.
Have you watched/read the Fantastic Beasts? What do you think? Please let me know if you think I’m wrong – I need someone to convince me that this is actually a really good idea.
Thanks for reading, Lauren X