Words by Erika Ng
Fans of the Harry Potter franchise will find themselves disappointed with the new release of the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series.
Following the adventures of world-famous Magi-zoologist, Newt Scammander (Eddie Redmayne), the series tells the story of the rise of the infamous villain, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelson) aka wizard Hitler.
Much like its predecessors, this movie’s plot lacks clarity and seems to be dragging it out for the sake of extending the franchise. The film explores some pretty complicated themes surrounding genocide and corruption but is juxtaposed against several poorly written jokes and cliches which seem more suitable for a younger audience. The film is heavy-handed in its revelations of Dumbledore’s secrets, it seems that J.K Rowling had no creativity when writing this screenplay and simply used it to confirm many of the already expected fan’s headcanons. Even when these secrets are revealed to the other characters, they seem mostly unphased. Despite the film being about the secrets of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), the wizard himself is rarely on screen.
Aside from the deeply dissatisfying plot, the visual aesthetics and original soundtrack thankfully, do not let us down. By its name’s sake, the fantastic beasts that feature in the film are visually stunning and dynamic. The score by James Newton Howard was immersive and supported the film well. In moments of stillness between action sequences, the music created a magic of its own. Establishing shots throughout the movie allows the brilliant set design to shine, displaying the true grandeur of the Harry Potter Universe.
Between the lacklustre plot and expertly executed techniques, the film averages out to be just that, average. Despite being a visual spectacle that showcases the chaos and wonder of the wizarding world, both the humble viewer and Potterheads alike will agree that this film is nothing more than that.