Film: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Cast: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogel
Director: David Yates
Rating: * * * *
The City of Light is an area of darkness in the second instalment of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff/prequels to the Harry Potter series. It is the setting for, dare we say, the characteristic conflict between adversaries. In a story ostensibly meant for kids, the movie is grim in its depiction of violence. But then, so were the Brothers Grimm and we grew up quite OK, I think. So, we can well endure “The Crimes of Grindelwald” which is replete with dazzling CGI battles, deaths and mayhem.
The talented Johnny Depp ably essays the titular creep who escapes from detention and rallies his minions while young gay Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law, superb) seeks help from introvert ex-student (and Hogwarts textbook author) Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of world hegemony by finding the undead orphan Credence Barebones (Ezra Miller). Is this a case of seek and you shall find? Not quite.
The film rambles on and the multiple subplots and myriad characters could get a tad confusing for newbies, but fear not. There is absolute clarity about the narrative’s themes of courage, love, loyalty and teamwork. Potterheads and J K Rowling fans will definitely enjoy. As will new converts to the fantasy series. So, I say, bring ‘em on!