It’d be a crime to not watch the new Fantastic Beasts movie

A highly-anticipated second movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and Potter universe, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” was released on Nov. 16. Watching the trailers on YouTube and the countless advertisements on Snapchat, I was in a constant state of nostalgia, and I couldn’t wait to go back into that magical world which was woven by the queen herself, J.K. Rowling.

When the movie started, I have to be honest, I was slightly overwhelmed. There were a lot of subplots: Grindelwald’s escape from his prison, Newt trying to regain his traveling license to travel as the Ministry of Magic attempts to recruit him to kill Credence, the brotherly feud between Theseus and Newt, Jacob and Queenie’s struggle to be together as a no-mag and witch, Dumbledore’s refusal to fight Grindelwald, Credence trying to find his lineage, the introduction of Nagini (yes, Voldemort’s snake), and much more.

Fitting all of these plots together probably contributed to the initial slow development of the movie, but Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, kept the movie interesting. His innocence and lack of social skills paired with his pure love for his creatures not only added a humorous element to this dark film but also enabled the audience to love Newt more than ever. However, while Newt was ever present in the plot, his beasts, in comparison to the last movie, were absent.  

It was toward the end when the movie picked up pace, and Leta Lestrange, surprisingly, was the cause of it. In “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Leta is mentioned very briefly as Newt’s ex, and I didn’t like the idea of her because she hurt him, so when I found out this movie was going to feature her, I wasn’t excited. Throughout the movie, however, flashbacks allowed me to feel sympathy toward her such as the bullying she went through and how she found consolation in Newt. Her backstory of neglect in her family, the hell she went through at school, and the guilt and burden she revealed made me love and understand her character. Like Newt, I realized, the audience “never met a monster [they] couldn’t love.”

When Newt and his crew get out of the tomb, they realize that this was a setup by Grindelwald to get to Credence. His speech about his goal to take wizards out of hiding is entrancing, but a battle breaks out between the aurors and his followers, and he summons the crowd to either swear loyalty or die in a flame. One by one, alliances are revealed, and the most shocking is when someone you least expect joins Grindelwald. Nicholas Flamel, owner of the sorcerer’s stone, interestingly makes an appearance to help prevent the fire that could destroy Paris. Even at the end, Rowling gives us one last jolt by revealing who Credence really is.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” was a really good movie, and despite the rough beginning, I think the whole story was pulled together cohesively towards the end. I think Rowling did a fantastic job recapturing the magic that is her storytelling. When the movie ended, I was thoroughly shaken, and I cannot wait till the next adventure with Newt and his Fantastic Beasts.