I haven’t read any books by JK Rowling by the time I promptly decided to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in Blok M area two weeks ago. The reason why I suddenly wished to watch the film was because I was disappointed with The Nutcracker and The Four Realms a few days before so I expected The Beasts would probably cure the letdown. In addition, I still longed to see another vintage-styled movie along with ancient buildings and streets and people in early 20th century. Hence, I didn’t really mind The Beasts presenting before me many CGIs and green screens here and there provided that it remained conveying vintage modes.
So, I headed to the theater then while enjoying the quite long movie I came out from the cinema saying to myself, “Ok, I should have known the backgrounds of every major character before watching the film because I ended up Googling who each of the character is after the movie ends.”
It isn’t sufficient to review the movie based on what I felt throughout the performance given many questions left unanswered as the movie was playing. Usually, I will find out what historical backgrounds behind the story or major characters as the movie closes. I can relate each and every puzzle by the end of the film. I can draw my own conclusions why this gets audiences to that scene and how everything falls into its place but I can’t wholly apply those things in The Beasts.
It took some times for me to grasp that the cores of the second installment were Credence Barebone and Leta Lestrange. While Credence quickly stole my attention at the beginning of the movie and the acting of Ezra Miller was really good, I didn’t predict that Leta would play essential role in the movie. She appeared casually when she encountered Newt Scamander.
As the movie was progressing, her development as someone so influential to reveal the identity of Credence wasn’t really smooth. I guessed that was because there were too many characters, that despite relatively ordinary roles they were playing, JK Rowling needed to bring them up in the screen. Hence, Leta’s growing impacts upon the movie was a little bit surprising for me because I wasn’t prepared for that. She wasn’t been given enough rooms to slowly stand out among other characters.
When she told the story on the complicated relationship regarding Credence I was still confused, or to be exact, I felt so stupid when the scene was taking place, LOL! By the time being, I still don’t understand what the connection between the two characters.
The peak of the film as some of the characters were drawing closer to Grindelwald didn’t go seamlessly as I hoped. I felt sorry that Johny Depp wasn’t that good in portraying the devilish character. I didn’t catch his charisma as a villain. As a consequence, the way he was persuading some characters, such as Credence or Queenie Goldstein as part of his comrades, felt flat.
Throughout the film, all I was waiting for was Newt, because as much as I don’t regard Eddie Redmayne a handsome actor, his reputation as a good actor is worthy of watching. I love his character in the movie, tough, despite ordinary role he was playing. His timid, introverted yet powerful character was captivating.
I must say I agree with the overall review of the movie from The Atlantic here in a way that JK Rowling’s ideas are too sophisticated to be put in this already lengthy movie (this is aside from the fact there will be a third installment). Yet for me, as a non-fantasy lover, enjoying every trick and spell of the movie is a good thing. Loving how sci-fi blends with old atmosphere in the film shows my mind starts open (I used to hate sci-fi fantasy films by the way). And yes, JK Rowling is a genius creator.
With those, I humbly say, the movie is enough to have entertained me.