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Review

Controversies Surrounding “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald”

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and don’t want it to be spoiled for you!

Potterheads did the waiting, two years of it! As a Potterhead, words can never explain how much thrill and excitement I received whenFantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald was released. But after finishing the movie with an absurd ending in the theater, I stayed still for quite a long time and had a serious talk with my Potterhead friends who were sitting beside me. Knowing the controversies that have been brought up even before the movie, I felt a little disappointed after two years of waiting.

Controversies Outside the Movie

Before the movie was released, plenty of controversies were brought up outside the movie. Casting of Johnny Depp was a triggering point of successive controversies, as he was accused of committing domestic abuse towards his ex-wife. However, J. K. Rowling expressed a defensive position, saying, “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the film-makers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.” Her comment went viral on social media, as fans began to criticize her action even before the true story was confirmed.

The other controversy happened two days before the movie was released. The official “Fantastic Beasts” Twitter account (@BeastsMovieUK) made a terrible mistake of uploading a picture of Mirei Kiritani and captioning her “Claudia Kim,” although the picture of Claudia Kim had to be uploaded in the post. After acknowledging their mistake, the team should have apologized to the public. However, their attitude was thoughtless and rather than apologizing, the team blocked the fan who informed the account that the team had made a mistake. Rowling and the team’s incorrect reactions made fans, including myself feel exceedingly disappointed, as they did not even attempt to stop the negative perception about “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald” among the public.

Controversies Inside the Movie

When the movie trailer was released, I was excited to see the appearance of Nagini as her revealed secret shocked Potterheads that Nagini was actually a human. #Nagini was sweeping Number One Trend in Twitter, as I was feeling more excited for Nagini’s hidden story to be narrated in the movie and expecting to see how Nagini became Maledictus who later got to serve as Voldemort’s pet. However, scenes of Nagini were clearly lacking in the movie. I thought the narration of Nagini, even a little bit of her story would be described in the movie. Same with Queenie, she was depicted kind and innocent in the previous movie, therefore by watching her shocking decision of joining Grindelwald’s side seemed like the movie did not thoroughly reflect her genuine characteristic. People complained how unkind the movie was by giving no description about what happened to certain characters prior to their unusual actions to the audience, and even making the audience predict what drove each character to do certain behaviors. Taking Nagini and Credence for example, in the trailer, they were always together, implying that the movie will explain how they started to rely on each other. But I couldn’t find any depiction about how the relationship between Nagini and Credence deepened, or even where and how they had met. I found out later that Credence had found Nagini by looking at the poster of the circus that says “Snake Girl” along with the illustration of Nagini in the trailer, not in the movie. It was ridiculous how the word “Snake Girl” was hard to find even in the trailer because the poster was covered by darkness.

While watching the movie, I could see what the movie was trying to say about each character. However, as new characters appeared in the movie such as Nicholas Flamel, Nagini, Leta Lestrange and Theseus Scamander, I believe it would have been hard to explain every single story of each character thoroughly just in one movie. Because of this, I felt there were no relations between each scene, creating a very choppy plot and causing controversies among fans due to their various predictions about each character’s behind story.

In addition, there was a mistake in the movie that was completely different from what the book says. The audience was dumbfounded by the appearance of Minerva Mcgonagall as a professor in Hogwarts who was born at 1935, while “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald” took place at 1927. Fans brought up a question about the existence of Professor McGonagall who should have been in the age of 8 in the movie. According to J. K. Rowling, McGonagall has been a professor since 1956. Some people tried to believe if it is either Minerva McGonagall’s mother or grandmother, but her mother, Isobel McGonagall had never been worked as a professor in Hogwarts, and neither did her grandmother since she was a muggle. Later the name Minerva McGonagall was found out in the script, which fact shows that the movie clearly made a mistake on appearance of Minerva McGonagall while she really shouldn’t be at Hogwarts in 1927.

Finally, the ending presented a huge confusion that created endless disputes. Grindelwald says that Credence is Aurelius Dumbledore, telling him that Credence’s true identity is Albus Dumbledore’s younger brother. The name, Aurelius Dumbledore, has never been mentioned in any Harry Potter book or movie series, therefore Potterheads are now coming up with countless theories about Credence’s identity. Even though the ending provided a “twist” to us, it also makes a “twist” in the plot of “Harry Potter” series where it presents Potterheads a serious perplexity about Dumbledore family.

Personally, I think the title “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald” should have been changed since Grindelwald didn’t commit any crime yet. And I was expecting more Newt’s scenes since he has been a protagonist in the “Fantastic Beasts” series, but Newt and his adorable fantastic beasts were focused less than the previous movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Because I predict the rest of three “Fantastic Beasts” movie series to be focused on stories of Dumbledore and Grindelwald, it is such a sad story for me because that means Newt and his fantastic beasts will not longer be showing up more often in the movie. However, Potterheads will have to wait until the next movie comes out in 2020. Despite the inaccuracies, I will be waiting, another two years of it, as I hope no single dispute to be brought up when the next “Fantastic Beasts” movie releases.

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