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Early Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Toronto Fan Screening

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Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to see an early screening (two weeks early) of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald! I have to give thanks to my sister,  who got the tickets and who is the biggest Harry Potter fan I know.

Before I proceed with the review, it was heavily requested on social media and during the screening that fans “Protect The Secrets” and to avoid sharing spoilers. Frankly, there will be individuals who would still leak serious plot twists or revelations. However, as per the last film review I did, I would rather you see the film which is why I will do my best to avoid any spoilers and only mention scenes or information you may have already seen in the trailer or cast interviews.

Unlike other reviews, this review will not only discuss the film but also the event itself. So, let’s get right into it!

The Hype

When it comes to a film that partakes in the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, is this even a question!? Of course, there will be a lot of anticipation to see this film and not from the Potterheads, but even people like me who are not a Potterhead but still enjoy a good movie! According to IGN,  the film is projected to earn in the range of  $65 million to $75 million. But why?

Well, there are several reasons for why, and you can point them out in the trailer above that was shown in the historical Hall H of San-Diego Comic-Con! As you can see above, Credence does in fact lives, which makes us curious about how they will explain how. Also, there are some new additions that we have already seen in past Harry Potter films which leads us into the next section.

The Cast

As mentioned above there are new additions to the cast, some that we know, some that we may have heard of and some we definitely loved!

One of these additions is none other than Jude Law, who plays the beloved Albus Dumbledore. I can genuinely say in my opinion, he absolutely killed it! He took little traits of Professor Dumbledore but still brought his own twist and contributions to the character.

Another character that we see in the trailer and we won’t recognize in the Harry Potter films is Nagini, played by Claudia Kim. It is interesting to see who the character was before she took on the full form of Voldemort’s snake.

The other notable additions in the cast are Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, and Johnny Depp. We do see Depp at the end of the last film so I wouldn’t say he is an entirely new addition but we definitely get to see more of him in this film, after all, he is the title character. Callum Turner, plays Newt’s brother, Theseus, and simply put, it was spot-on casting. My favourite new addition has to be Zoë Kravitz. Firstly, she killed it in a British accent but we do get to know more about her and the Lestrange family. This might be the only spoiler, but not really: we do get to see younger versions of Lita & Newt and I thought the casting was brilliant there too.

Of course, we do get the return of the core four from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them who are Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Daniel Fogler who also make this movie great.

The Story

This will be the hardest to write about without giving any spoilers, but I will try. The movie takes place a couple months after the events of the first film. The overall plot was really well done, and no after re-watching the trailer I have to applaud the individuals responsible for editing it because there are no spoilers or obvious storylines fans can predict.

There will be deaths in this film, and frankly,  I wish we got to see more of the character’s backstory prior to the next installment. Also, there is a serious plot twist that occurs which left the entire audience in shock. So definitely stay tuned for that. Also, there are no end credit scenes.

The Different Elements

Emotion

I am putting emotion as its own sub-category because there were multiple moments where our heartstrings were pulled. Ezra Miller mentioned in the Live Q&A after the screening that he did cry for 75% of the movie.  I will admit that even with all the action and humour, the film, in my opinion, there were a lot of scenes that will you make you sad.

Cinematography & Special Effects

new-featurette-for-fantastic-beasts-the-crimes-of-grindelwald-focuses-on-returning-to-hogwarts-social

The cinematography and special effects were absolutely incredible in this film. I really enjoyed the drone shots especially this one from the trailer which highlights the magical school everyone misses but has never attended (Eddie Redmayne’s words), Hogwarts. There were several film locations and it was all shot beautifully.

Special effects are a must for this film, especially to take into account Newt Scamander’s magnificent beasts. We do see beasts from before and are introduced to new ones as well. In addition to his briefcase, in Newt’s home, there is a place where all the beasts live and I think that was just so beautiful to see. We see a bit of it in the final trailer where Newt bonds with a Kelpie, and just that scene of him riding the water demon was insane from the CGI water to the scenery in the background.

Comedy

As mentioned above, there are a lot of sweet and sad moments, but there were also scenes of comedic relief. Whether it was Newt’s awkwardness or witty comebacks, we can all expect some hilarious encounters with Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler. Another character that also provides great laughs is the Niffler.

The Event 

It was really cool that Warner Brothers allowed fans of the franchise the opportunity to see the film two weeks prior to the release date. Oh, and what else can top that? The tickets were free! My sister actually got the pair of tickets from The Fantastic Beasts Instagram page as they were giving tickets for various cities.

It was pretty cool to see the official Instagram page for the Fantastic Beasts page share my story onto theirs.

With respect to Freebies, it does vary from city to city. The night before, their screening received a stuffed Niffler and for Toronto, we received a Deathly Hallows keychain, poster and Fantastic Beasts pin with the phrase “Protect The Secrets”.

Final Verdict and Score 

All in all, I loved this movie and that should mean a lot from someone who is not a Potterhead! I enjoyed this film with all the different emotional elements that the writers and actors delivered but also with the beautiful cinematography and J. K. Rowling ‘s wonderful imagination come to life through the power of CGI and post-production.

It was such an enjoyable movie for the entire family, and do recommend you see it when it comes out in theatres November 16th, 2018!

Final Score: 9.5/10 
Must Watch: Yes
Watch Again: Most Likely

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