By Haley Chi-Sing
The first installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise kept hardcore Harry Potter fans on the edge of their seats as they anxiously awaited the newest addition to the beloved series. The moment the film hit box offices, it became a staple among fans of all ages as a re-introduction to J.K. Rowling’s beloved wizarding world.
Just a couple weeks ago, the latest film in the Fantastic Beasts series premiered: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
The sequel, unfortunately, did not receive the same appreciation as its predecessors. Specific reasons and plot holes were mentioned to support their argument. Let us take a look to truly determine if “The Crimes of Grindelwald” was really that much of a disappointment. Because, to be fair, if it’s got Eddie Redmayne, it really can’t be that much of a failure.
Here are a few common issues viewers had, and my opinion.
1. The visit to Hogwarts
During the film, there is a particular scene that takes place in one of the beloved classrooms of Hogwarts. However, many fans were angered at the fact that the scene had no substance and no true value. In other words, they expected more crucial, poignant characters to make an appearance in order to make the Hogwarts scene much more valuable.
But, to be fair, who were they expecting to see? Harry and Hermione? The film couldn’t feature any pivotal Harry Potter characters simply due to the timeline. The fans should just appreciate the fact that they got a Hogwarts scene.
2. Main characters’ stories
Fans were also irritated by the fact that there was no real captivating factor that allowed them to truly fall in love with the four main characters: Newt, Jacob, Tina and Queenie. Many fans stated the film bounces around to too many plot holes, therefore not giving enough screen time to give a full backstory to each of the characters. As a result, the four main characters are simply… characters.
However, The Crimes of Grindelwald is just the second installment in a series that presumably will have two or more films. Much more information with regard to the characters’ backstories will be established in the films to come.
Also, in these last two films, the writers have been very consistent in including small phrases, snippets and flashbacks that give a glimpse into the stories of each of the characters. Granted, they are not as clear and distinctive as they are in the original Harry Potter films, requiring fans to be a bit more engaged and observant.
3. The characters are stereotypical
Many fans seem to be arguing that the Fantastic Beasts characters are simply rewrites of typical film characters — the ditzy character, the funny character, the serious female character, etc. As a result, these new characters are not as distinctive and genuine.
Again, this is just the second film in the series. Saying that, however, I partially agree that many of the characters haven’t been fully explored. The only characters the writers have truly delved into are Newt, Credence and Leta. While the Goldstein sisters are a crucial part of the storyline, as well as Jacob, they do seem to simply fulfill the obligatory character types.
4. Fantastic Beasts is undermining the original Harry Potter storyline
Last but certainly not least, hardcore Harry Potter fans argue that the new wizarding world series is undermining and pushing aside crucial aspects of the original Harry Potter series, i.e. Dumbledore’s sexuality and his family line, Nagini’s reappearance as a human, etc.
They appreciate the fact that director David Yates and Rowling are dropping crucial Harry Potter hints, but the manner in which they are hinting at pivotal plot holes undermines the storyline as a whole.
It wasn’t until these recent installments in the series that Yates and Rowling were able to delve into plot holes left by Rowling at the end of the Harry Potter series. All of the characters in Fantastic Beasts were brand new to the audience, except Newt and Grindelwald. Given these circumstances, it would make sense that the films haven’t been able to answer all of the fan theories and speculations.
I think it would be reasonable to assume that most, if not all, the Harry Potter plot holes and questions will be resolved by the end of the Fantastic Beasts series, as the franchise will end in 1945 — at Voldemort’s rise to power.