Things are get­ting scarier and more in­tense in Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindel­wald


Look at that big stone raven. Re­mind you of any­thing? If that side pro­file and those threat­en­ingly spread wings give you some pretty strong Nazi-her­aldry vibes, then 10 points for his­tor­i­cal-sym­bol­ism knowl­edge. And if you were hop­ing that a trip to the cinema this spring might mean a break from head­lines about fas­cism and po­lit­i­cal dem­a­gogues, then we’re go­ing to have to dis­ap­point you. Bring your plac­ards. Things are go­ing to get fighty.

David Yates de­scribes The Crimes Of Grindel­wald as a very dif­fer­ent movie from Fan­tas­tic Beasts And Where To Find Them. “[It still has] some of its charm,” the di­rec­tor says, “but we’re ex­plor­ing some­thing deeper and darker and more in­tense.” Specif­i­cally, he means the rise of Gellert Grindel­wald (Johnny Depp), who has grad­u­ated from se­cret bad­die in the first film to big, proud, try­ing-to-con­vert-theworld-to-wizard­ing-fas­cism bad­die in this movie. He is at­tempt­ing to unite all mag­i­cally pow­ered cit­i­zens against the merely mor­tal, who he be­lieves to be their in­fe­ri­ors, and it’s work­ing. This pic­ture shows a scene towards the movie’s end, when Grindel­wald’s pure-blood faith­ful have gath­ered to hear him lay out, as Yates puts it, “his vi­sion for a new world or­der”. Among them is the one man who can fea­si­bly stop him, Newt Sca­man­der (Ed­die Red­mayne), side by side with re­in­stated Auror Tina Gold­stein (Kather­ine Water­ston), but

Newt has yet to de­cide if he trusts the wizard­ing au­thor­i­ties any more than he trusts Grindel­wald, af­ter the way they be­trayed him last time.

“Newt is still an out­sider,”says Yates. “In this film, he re­sists the call of the Bri­tish Min­istry to join them, stay­ing true to form, to his own way of do­ing things, as the wizard­ing world edges closer to war. Choos­ing sides is very much an idea at the heart of the film.”

That idea plays into the other ma­jor story at work: the in­tro­duc­tion of young Al­bus Dum­ble­dore (Jude Law). He’s choos­ing be­tween the cause he knows to be right, ie stop­ping the des­e­cra­tion of the non-wizard­ing world, and Grindel­wald, the man he loved in his youth. Do not ex­pect a happy end­ing to that in­ter­nal con­flict, or in­deed a clean dis­patch­ing of Grindel­wald. It takes more than a few months and a stern ar­gu­ment to crush a dic­ta­tor. As Yates says, war is com­ing.

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