The bet was risky. Rebuilding an unprecedented franchise by changing the era and revealing to us an arc almost unknown to the general public in the idea of an “extension of the wizarding world”, the challenge had something to dream of more than a fan of the universe of JK Rowling. This is our critic of Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie.
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie
It is in 2013 that will officially begin the genesis of a project to expand the magical world of Harry Potter in cinema. We will then discover that J.K. Rowling herself will be the screenwriter. It is Lionel Wigram, executive producer of the saga from the fifth episode, who will propose to JK Rowling the idea of developing an original adaptation of the small encyclopedia, the bestiary of Newton Scamander (in French, Norbert Dragonneau) who will give his name later to the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Produced in particular by Heyday Films founded by the main producer of the Harry Potter saga, Fantastic Beasts also marks the return of the academic David Yates, the only filmmaker in the saga to have participated in four films, a questionable director capable of great lyrical flights and treated sometimes even with great darkness but, at the same time, in sequences of a rather rare flatness and inconsistency. It is in 2016 that we will be unveiled on our screens the awkward Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them freeing itself from Harry Potter and trying to promote us different characters and a prologue to a less Manichean saga or, in any case, With less obvious and more complex stakes, the first film of this saga will prove to be a correct entertainment, carried by a courteous but rather unimaginative realization, in a New York of the 20s rather well transcribed but with rather crude special effects.
Weighted down by a soft and ultimately rather futile plot, a successful main character, played by the talented Eddie Redmayne, but too often a slave to his own condition of being generous and numb, a hero in spite of himself accompanied by supporting roles too often without consistency or even rather weak in their development, the first opus will leave a bitter taste although it will have its share of successes. We will keep in memory scenes of a beautiful scope both in substance and in form and a rather exceptional work of the excellent artistic director Stuart Craig and his team who will bring this abundant universe back to life.
Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie therefore had a lot to do to give this saga legitimacy and allow the plot to really take off. It is with surprise and astonishment that we will discover a plot, still written by J.K. Rowling, much more intelligent and mature than what we could have imagined, even having seen the trailers.
Taking account of a period between the wars when a part of society embraced fascism, this second opus truly marks by its incantatory power, its subtle and welcome evocations to our time and its contrasting and diverse characters. It is quite amazing to see that by trying to connect this saga to Harry Potter in the plot, finally putting forward the two great wizards that are Albus Dumbledore, played by a charismatic and convincing Jude Law, and Gellert Grindelwald, camped by a rather surprising Johnny Depp for his gentleness and moderation, David Yates and his team manage to move away from it, completely reinventing the founding saga while adding vivid references, sometimes too supported, but always through the prism of a true love of their magical world. The filmmaker, moreover, who will offer here one of his most successful achievements finally allowing himself to release more his camera and his staging, in particular helped by the high-class director of photography that is Philippe Rousselot .
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Far from a film acting as a transition, JK Rowling finally offers us a plot closer to what had made the sap of her universe, although we can blame it for a certain catch-all and a stringy rhythm, Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald movie possesses a strength of character far too rare in blockbuster movies and, in that, is absolutely refreshing.
Taking, of course, the characters of the first opus while adding others, this second opus will refine the existing protagonists, avoiding them too crashing in front of new characters much more interesting. It’s hard not to stop at the Theseus-Leta-Newt trio, a true pearl of writing in the unspoken, the looks and their respective relationships: Zoë Kravitz and Callum Turner pulling out of the game. New characters are swarming and we will be surprised at the coherence and interest that all these protagonists, sometimes having very little time to express themselves, find in a story that is nevertheless so bloated.
The special effects of this second act will also be more there, overall much more successful than those of its predecessor although Paris is still very empty. The artistic direction, still as grandiose as ever, will once again be a real highlight, both through a dazzling new bestiary and in the different places that we will visit throughout the film. We will still be disappointed by an original soundtrack, signed by the talented James Newton Howard, so discreet and so little highlighted during the footage, something that the elder had negotiated much better.
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In the end, it was with this film that the future of this new saga was going to emerge, or not. The bet, already difficult, was even more so with this one. Admirably, the whole is therefore very eloquent, nevertheless, we will leave the room with a certain frustration and we will definitively regret a first part so little embodied then followed closely by a second as interesting but dysfunctional and overabundant of under -overloaded intrigues. Why not have reconciled the two?