Friday, November 16, 2018

Pro-Capitalist: Fantastic Beasts 2 The Crimes Of Grindelwald

For months and months and months, myself and countless other bloggers and vloggers have been speculating about minuscule details and plot points; even though we were mostly wrong about most things, I am grateful we ALL engaged in such intellectual exercises: as I was watching the film, each decision by the film makers stood out more fully regarding pre-release points of disputation, so having argued about what was going to happen made the actual plot more decisive, that is, the plot HAD to be this way, and rather than absently going with the flow of the plot, there were so many points of contention that nearly every scene was "startling" because I didn't expect it to go the way it did. Having said that, unless you have been pouring over theories and predictions about the film, you probably won't find it startling, that's not your job.
I can't believe it.
Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes Of Grindelwald is pro-capitalist! AND, in some surprising new ways! Johnny Depp is mesmerizing as Grindelwald, this is an incredible performance on his part (and that says a lot about the directing, too) and Jude Law is priceless as Albus Dumbledore. Joshua Shea, who portrays the young Newt Scamander is perfection, it seems more that Eddie Redmayne himself has been CGI to look younger, rather than a separate actor portraying him! OK, so here is what you need to know (SPOILER FREE!) if you go and see it this weekend or next week,....
This is a bit crazy, and I thought it would be all straitened out in seeing the film, but now I am even more confused. According to sources I researched (film crew members, maybe Jude Law), when the film first began promotion, one of the first photos released was the one on the left: the wand on the left is the famed Elder Wand of the Deathly Hallows, and the black wand on the right was marketed as Dumbledore's wand (before their duel which won him the Elder Wand). This was the wand we saw him using in the first trailer. As the months passed, this poster on the right was released with him holding a new wand; the explanation given was that Dumbledore's wands were switched because it was felt that his wand too closely resembled the Elder Wand (the Super Carlin Brothers proposed an AWESOME theory about the significance of this similarity you can watch it here). So, when we see Dumbledore teaching one of his students about his dueling mistakes (and you will want to pay attention to what Dumbledore says here, but it's likely that this will be the same mistake Grindelwald makes when he duels Dumbledore) we clearly see Dumbledore using the wand in the poster on the right; when we have the flashback in the Mirror of Erised, his younger self is definitely using the wand in the image on the left, so it's possible that, due to the killing of his sister Arianna, Dumbledore stopped using the wand on the left and took up using the wand pictured with him on the right side. 
See it in IMAX.
This is a big film and a big film needs a big screen, it was gorgeous on IMAX, I am so grateful I got to see it; I hadn't intended it that way, it's just that the IMAX showing was more convenient, so it worked out well, however, if you can, do. Secondly, in the beginning of the film, Dumbledore and Newt are talking, and the conversation begins with Newt saying, "The Ministry still believes you sent me to New York," and then they discuss the Thunderbird Newt had in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Dumbledore then mentions the Phoenix, and a legend in his family about the bird; YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY SINGLE WORD HE SAYS HERE. This little blip is THE KEY to understanding what happens at the end of the film.
This is a small, but potentially important detail: the teacher running in this scene is, indeed, Professor Minerva McGonagall, originally portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith in the Harry Potter films. Here's the thing, Minerva was the only magical in her line (her mother married a pastor) so this can't be an earlier Professor McGonagall teaching at Hogwarts; however, the film takes place in 1927, and Minerva was born in 1935, not attending Hogwarts until 1947. So,......? Time turners. That's what everyone seems to be saying, is that the same professor who introduced Hermione Granger to the time turner in Prisoner Of Azkaban must now be employing one to aide Dumbledore in some way. She's in the film for only a moment, but no one is in doubt as to who she is, so this is likely one of those expansions we shall see in the next film.
Third, Grindelwald and his followers have taken over a muggle apartment in Paris and they congregate in the living room. One of the "acolytes," followers, says something--and for the life of me I couldn't make it out--to which Grindelwald responds, "We don't say such things in public." Last but not least, the big rally Grindelwald holds of his followers takes place towards the end of the film, and every word he says AND DOESN'T SAY is vitally important to understanding who he is and how he's styling himself. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and how well everything was done, from cinematography to acting and special effects, I am quite pleased with the film.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner