Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald is probably the worst movie in 'Harry Potter' franchise

It's not for nothing that Crimes of Grindelwald has the worst box office history in the entire Harry Potter film franchise, and these are just a few of the flaws that explain why.

Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald is probably the worst movie in 'Harry Potter' franchise

First things first - don't let the headline trick you into thinking this is the title of the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts movie-trilogy; although, personally I believe this should have been a more befitting title of the second part. Titled 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald', this fantasy movie revolving around the magical world of J.K. Rowling is a crime against Potterheads. Especially because much like Sirius Black we did our waiting! Maybe not 12 years of it, but a solid seven years for sure, and this just seems like a poor consolation prize for not having anything Harry Potter related releases on the horizon.

Technically, the first part of the film, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' had released just two years ago around the same time, but it failed to create as much of an impact, much like its successor. There were haphazard plots infused together without proper explanation or divulging of backstory. So automatically, fans looked forward to the second installment hoping to receive some moiety of closure when it came to these loose ends scattered all over the first part. Turns out it was a hopeless dream. If Crimes of Grindelwald had left these ends untied, it would have still been better; but no. What they did instead was tied them all up in the jumbled, entangled mess and tried to make some sense out of that unnecessary chaos. And please - what even was that Grindelwald? You call that the darkest wizard of all times? Shame!

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Source: Twitter
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Source: Twitter

Anyway, that's enough beating around the bush. Let's get straight to facts. Speaking of the lack of gravity in the said dark lord from times before Lord Voldemort, the entire concept of Grindelwald has been controversial right from its introduction. To fans, it seemed like JK Rowling just sprinkling in a homosexual relationship by announcing Albus Dumbledore was gay and fell for his friend, Grindelwald, just for the name of a more diversified representation. And this was purely because of the way the author had just mentioned it in passing in the very last book from the Harry Potter franchise.  

But things got worse when Rowling expressed her firm support for Johnny Depp being cast to play the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, right after he had been hit with physical assault and abuse allegations by ex-wife, Amber Heard. The fans weren't ready to have it and as revealed by Ezra Miller in a recent interview, neither of the cast members were consulted over it either. They had no clue that they would be working with Depp, even though none of them expressed any vocal opinions denouncing the decision either. In fact, director David Yates had even told Entertainment Weekly that in his experience, Depp is “full of decency and kindness” and that “whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with”. According to him, “It doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

Claudia Kim as Nagini.
Claudia Kim as Nagini.

Splendid, right? But wait, it gets better. What even is going on with the whole Nagini theory? Suddenly on the brink of the release of Crimes of Grindelwald, Rowling announced that Nagini, Voldemort's pet snake, and Horcrux, used to be a human woman. She's a Maledictus - a magical creature hereditarily cursed to shapeshift until they take the form of the animal. But why was this introduction totally flawed? Because the actor playing Nagini, Claudia Kim, is Asian. So if you look at it from the social criticism perspective, and tally the entire past and future of Nagini, she was a woman of color, who was kept as a pet by a white, fascist, dictator types evil man for a Dark Lord. And that is offensive in the contexts of both racism, and sexism.

Yet that isn't all, of course. After a certain point of time in the movie, it just becomes too obvious that the OG villainous character - Credence Barebone, who was just a tortured boy involuntarily harboring a dark cloud of magic within him, aka the Obscurial - has a plot that keeps getting unnecessarily dragged on. The reason why Harry Potter was a massive hit with fans and reached such incredible heights of popularity was because of its crisp and precise storytelling. There were dots all around, but fans would be able to connect them eventually, and the whole feeling was aesthetically pleasing and a different level of satisfaction.

Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts 2.
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts 2.

But with Fantastic Beasts, it's almost like Rowling tried too hard and overcompensated too much - in all the wrong ways - with the script. And by the looks of it, this plot will be a major one in its upcoming third installment where viewers will discover further secrets and realities about the character. Like, we get it. You want to elaborate and validate how Dumbledore and Grindelwald were "closer than brothers," as young Albus, played by Jude Law, says at one point in the movie. But please, for all that's blessed and holy in the Wizarding World, leave the poor boy alone from the unnecessary 'intensity' of what seems like a token gay relationship to be more 'diverse'. Spoiler alert, but Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore apparently, aka Albus' long-lost brother of sorts. And this came after there was absolutely NO mention of Albus having a third sibling anywhere in the Harry Potter universe. 

In conclusion, personally speaking, there was no need to explore the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the form of films at all. We had our books, we had our Pottermore too, we were finding closure from Post-Potter Depression in whatever manner we could. But with Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald, especially, Rowling just dug up a lot of open wounds, without providing the right kind of first aid side by side. At the end of the day, it's not for nothing that Crimes of Grindelwald has the worst box office history in the entire Harry Potter film franchise, and these are just a few of the flaws that explain why.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.