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A Reel Life film section

Issue: November 2018 (Autumn)

Fantastic Beasts - Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) movie review

Movie poster, Fantastic Beasts - Crimes of Grindelwald; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Fantastic Beasts - Crimes of Grindelwald; Festivale film review
The fate of one will change the future of all.

Paris Beneath

In the second installment of Fantastic Beasts, Grindelwald escapes to Paris where he encourgages a movement for magic folk to reign supreme over cattle-like muggles.

THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD begins with a big CGI escape scene, and as with the rest of the wizarding world movies it is a bit of a special effects-fest.

Newt (Eddie Remayne) and the team, Tina (Katherine Waterston), Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski the baker (Dan Fogler) must thwart the meglomania of Grindelwald, keeping the peace with the largely unknowing muggles, and preventing the downfall of their way of life.

THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD is quite a grown-up film. Queenie, for one, is motivated by her desire to marry her muggle despite the ban on mixed marriages in the United States. Newt is a good man who does not want power or responsibility, he's the nerdy scientist who just wants to write his opus. Kowalski is our romantic hero, an average guy who has fallen in love with a witch. His character is one of the joys of the film. He is the example for the obvious metaphor (species prejudice), but ultimately he will step away or step up, whichever is best for his love. Tina, the representative of the law, by contrast seems to be phoned in by scripter J.K.Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelward movie still (Johnny Depp); 1094x721

Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelward movie still (Johnny Depp) (c) Warner Bros Entertainment

Obviously the film-makers don't want to lose their juvenile audience, so it is all very PG, but there is something for everyone here -- cute monsters, noble lovers, a romantic confusion (very cliche), and an evil villain (Johnny Depp) who frankly has made more of an effort as an actor.

Leta Lestrange: You're too good, Newt. You never met a monster you couldn't love.

Grindelward as a villain does terrible things and says terrible things, but he never gives us the chills. He is supposed to be the Hitler figure here, fanning discontent and hatred to gather an army. Johnny Depp should be able to give us Rasputin, Hitler, Idi Armin -- a charismatic leader who can seduce and inspire and call to arms while sending chills up our spines.

The Rowling franchise always suffers from her limited writing skills. The Harry Potter films were always better when Steve Kloves wrote them. This film is watchable, but to paraphras the late great Alan Rickman (Professor Snape), nobody puts their back into it.


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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 15 Nov 2018 (Australia)
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Fantastic Beasts - Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Written by: J.K. Rowling & {scripter2}
Directed by:
Music by: James Newton Howard
Running time: 2h 14min
Rating: M

The Players: Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Zoƫ Kravitz, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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