For the interviews, scroll to the bottom of the page!
*** This post may contain spoilers ***
A few weeks ago, I got to go to the Warner Bros. lot to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
I've been a Harry Potter fan for just about 20 years, so this was such a cool experience. Other than Johnny Depp's involvement in the film, I was excited to see how the story of Newt Scamander progressed since we last saw him in America.
Now that the movie has been out for a few days, I am fully aware that it did not exceed expectations- for fans and compared to the rest of the Harry Potter franchise. It's debut was slightly lower than the first film's U.S. opening, but made up ground overseas for a worldwide launch of $253.2 million.
The first Fantastic Beasts earned an A CinemaScore, while Crimes of Grindelwald battled generally poor reviews and a B+ CinemaScore. It also currently holds a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. Oof.
However, I will admit that I fully enjoyed it. Sure, there were issues (uhhh... Professor Mcgonagall's cameo made no sense) and I didn't particularly enjoy the big twist at the end, but overall I thought it was a great film.
Let me go deeper here.
We're living in some tense and polarizing times and so often I feel frustrated by the people who are adamant on staying "neutral." This film's overarching theme tackles that head on. Newt so desperately does not want to get involved in the war that is brewing around him, but ultimately is forced to choose a side.
I also found it interesting to see the complexity of each character and the layers to the "dark side." In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort and his followers were clearly evil. We knew his plan was to wipe out anyone who was not a "pure-blood", which is what Grindelwald also is trying to achieve. However, Grindelwald is far more manipulative with his message. He disguises his hateful message with love and my heart broke when I saw one of my favorite characters from the first film be seduced by his message.
Actually, as delightful as this film can be... this ish gets DARK. Like, super dark. Sometimes you're sitting in your seat and you think "Oh wow, they really went there." Maybe I'm dark for this, but I'm kind of happy they did go there. Evil IS dark and even though this is a fictional world, I feel like it added to the desperation of what is on the line.
So yes- the film has it's flaws, but if you're a fan of the Wizarding World, you should still go see it.
On November 3rd, I got to sit with the cast of Crimes and geek out a little bit with them. Check out my interviews with Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Claudia Kim, and more!