Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review: Why Grindelwald is a Lot Like Today’s Politicians

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review: Why Grindelwald is a Lot Like Today’s Politicians

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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et’s face it: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second installment of five in the Harry Potter spin-off series, doesn’t quite recapture the magic of the first — except, perhaps, in its thoughtful, utterly absorbing visuals. Rather than being a standalone film, it leaves most of its own questions unanswered, presumably for the upcoming three films, and continues the thread of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. It’s 1927 and the awkward magizoologist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), is still more interested in tending to his magical creatures than in the ever-growing turmoil in the wizarding world.

The first film revolves around a relatively simple New York City tale, where Scamander’s pursuit of his escaped creatures lands him in the middle of plot by archvillain Grindelwald, who is disguised as an Auror to capture an Obscurial (a child who represses his magical abilities, creating a dark, parasitic power) called Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Adopted by an abusive, anti-magic muggle family, Credence’s tragic journey sets the stage for the coming conflict between magical and non-magical people.

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