By Amani Salahudeen
Potterheads are rejoicing as the new film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” finally hits theaters after its release on Nov. 18. The film, written by J.K. Rowling, is set in 1927, long before Harry Potter attended Hogwarts.
In the film is a sequel to “Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them” and is based off of Rowling’s book, “Fantastic Beasts.” Dumbeldore (Jude Law) and his former student, Newt (Eddie Redmayne), take it upon themselves to try to defeat the villain Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and his efforts to create a world of purebred wizards to rule over all non-magical beings.
Newt is prohibited from traveling outside of England after the events that took place in New York and the confusion that ensued in the previous film. Tina (Katherine Waterston) is continuing her job as an Auror and is attempting to find Credence (Ezra Miller) who wants to know where he came from before Grindelwald finds him.
Meanwhile, Jacob (Dan Fogler) reclaimed his memory and began seeing Queenie (Alison Sudol) who is saddened knowing that her relationship with Non-Magi is unlawful in America.
As far as villians go, Grindelwald puts Voldemort to shame through the tireless and constant manipulation of his victims. Seeing a young Dumbledore and Newt interact reminded me of how Dumbledore interacted with Harry in the “Harry Potter” films. Fans find out just how close Dumbledore was to Grindelwald.
Scenes with the Niffler, a magical beast resembling an anteater, and Newt’s home were some of the main highlights of this film. Newt’s home added a comfortable vibe ot the film, and the Niffler always appeared on each scene with perfect comedic timing.
As a longtime “Harry Potter” fan, I thought that the film had the potential to be one really good sequel, but there were times when the movie fell flat. There were some subtle changes made to the second “Harry Potter” prequel. Dumbledore is portrayed as a professor of defense against the dark arts, but if you’re a fan of the books you’ll know that he taught the transfiguration class at Hogwarts.
As a fan, I have to admit that I was unaware of this at the time that I went to see the movie, but another matter of concern was the casting of Depp in the film after allegations of abuse by his former wife, Amber Heard. Rowling stands by her decision to keep Depp in the film, but many fans were angered by Rowling’s lack of outrage towards Depp’s allegations. Depp opened up to Variety magazine about the issue, saying that he was falsely accused of abuse and that Rowling saw the evidence and supported his story.
I wasn’t overly impressed by this film as I was with the first one, but I didn’t completely hate it either. It was entertaining, but not as magical as I had hoped.