Over Thanksgiving break, my mom and I made the holy commute to see “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in theaters. At this point in my life, I feel compelled to see any and all new “Harry Potter” films, regardless of their quality. This brings me to the sad truth I’ve had to accept as of late: the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts” is not so fantastic. For all intents and purposes, the film “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is a crime against audience members and “Harry Potter” lovers worldwide.
I must say, J.K. Rowling really outdid herself with this latest catastro-piece. This criticism comes from a devout “Harry Potter” fan, so it pains me a bit to pick this movie apart. I’ve read all seven “Harry Potter” books, seen all eight movies and have bought literally every single Gryffindor-related item I can get my grubby little paws on. I’m not saying I could screen write a better film, but I am going to point out some very sloppy mistakes made in the movie. Sloppy mistakes which, in my opinion, could have been easily avoided with a bit of planning and forethought.
First, Minerva McGonagall was featured in this movie as a teacher at Hogwarts before she was born. Let me say this again: before she was born. According to Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s famous, franchise-espoused website, McGonagall was born on October 4, 1935. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” takes place in 1927. How does it make sense that we see Professor McGonagall chastising students during a flashback depicting Newt Scamander as a young, Hufflepuff student? Well, it doesn’t. It simply doesn’t.
Second, young Dumbledore is shown teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, when it is common knowledge amongst fans that he taught Transfiguration before becoming the headmaster at Hogwarts. Sure, it’s cool seeing Jude Law teaching students how to battle a boggart, but it really doesn’t sit nicely in the canon of the series. Aside from this mistake, Law does a lovely job depicting young Dumbledore, and I really wish he had more screen time. Audience members saw Dumbledore for a cumulative fifteen minutes out of a total run time of 2 hours and 13 minutes.
Third, Scamander casts the spell Accio at one point to summon his badger-like Niffler to him. The problem with this small action is that charms don’t work like that, at all. A witch or wizard can’t summon living things using the Accio charm. Regarding Accio, Harry Potter Wiki states: “[the spell] will not work on living things, although they may be moved by summoning an object they are wearing or holding.” I might be being picky, but if J.K. Rowling spends years world-building in her initial seven books, it’s kind of depressing to see her quickly tear the universe down in a single movie.
I’ll take a moment to point out what I did like about the movie: Newt Scamander. The quirky and lovable zoologist is again our protagonist in this sequel, adding an organic and whimsical element to the story. He returns to us with his adorable Niffler and green, praying-mantis-like Bowtruckle comfortably tucked in his briefcase, aiding him in several instances. Even though Scamander doesn’t belong in the plot of the second movie, which pertains to a huge battle between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, it’s still nice to see Eddie Redmayne bringing his acting talents to the screen.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but still consider it a fan-fiction which needed considerable fact-checking before its publication.
Doménica Castro is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Spanish. DC874612@wcupa.edu