Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald HMJ'S REVIEW
Lessons on evil.
BY HMJ lister
This is what JK Rowling does so very well. She take all the familiar elements, tropes stereotypes and weaves them together with charm and intelligence to tell her story.
Right along side the whimsical world of magic, the humorous touches, the standard romantic relationships, the hero/ine types is a thinly disguised history lesson that points straight at today's world.
I doubt many of the younger people in the audience would have recognized the reference to racism and American's segregation ,so-called, miscegenation laws. Nor would many have caught the direct references to the rise of fascism in Germany. As for Johnny Depp's chillingly likeable (at times) Grindelwald, a timely reminder that Hitler was a charismatic leader and inspiring public speaker. Here also, a tale of what happens when governments abuse their power and treat the people as the enemy. Driving the vulnerable straight into the waiting arms of evil.
Yet it's all here. Tied up with a pretty ribbon. Acted out intelligently by a first rate ensemble cast. A lesson on how very easy it is to slide into disaster. What happens if we don't watch those with power over us, those who would move us with fear and, above all, what happens when we don't watch ourselves.
As for the die-hard Potter-verse fans. This film has an abundance of references to the "future". Some obvious others for the detail obsessed who remember everything and always want more.
Contrary to some, I found this a strong stand alone movie as well as a brilliantly crafted second act. I was riveted throughout and left the theatre eager for more.