5 Confusing Plotlines In The Crimes of Grindelwald
(WARNING: This article contains massive spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to be spoiled, come back when you have.)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a confusing movie. In many ways, J.K Rowling’s second foray into the world of screenwriting took a large step backwards. As our initial review indicated, the movie is overstuffed with plotlines that essentially act as a giant set-up for the installments to follow. The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces numerous mysteries that remain unsolved by the end of its lengthy runtime. As a result, the movie leaves viewers with a sense of befuddlement about the direction that this spinoff franchise might go in the future. Here are 5 plotlines that make absolutely no sense in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
What Is Grindelwald’s Plan & How Does He Amass His Following?
For a movie that is subtitled The Crimes of Grindelwald, there’s a serious lack of law breaking in the plot. The movie opens with the eponymous character escaping captivity with the help of his “followers.” The screenplay only implies how Grindelwald escapes, but it seems that the only real crime committed in the story is the guards that he kills in the carriage. Similarly, Grindelwald’s ability to persuade people to join his cause is also never clearly laid out.
The movie makes a big deal about his powers of persuasion, but it never lays the groundwork for us to suspend disbelief. Even more obscure is what Grindelwald’s plan actually is. We know that Credence is the key, and that Grindelwald is in search of the Deathly Hallows. Other than this, the movie keeps its cards close to the chest in regards to his grand plan. There’s something to be said for not bombarding the audience with information. At the same time, when someone needs to search for clues about the character’s philosophy and motivations, there’s something wrong with the writing.
What’s Going On With Queenie & Jacob’s Relationship?
Speaking of Grindelwald’s followers, one of the most shocking parts of the story sees Queenie turning to the dark side. It’s a plotline that would actually play pretty well – if it weren’t for the fact that her motivation is ham-fisted. Moreover, it raises questions about how Jacob got his memory back in the first place. One of the best parts of the first film was the way that it characterized Queenie and Jacob’s relationship. While it feels natural for the story to drive a wedge between the two, the way that the film justifies this ruins the goodwill.
By backtracking on the citywide obliviation that affected Jacob’s memories in the last film, The Crimes of Grindelwald takes their relationship in a weird direction. When Queenie first encounters Grindelwald in the second act, she seems resistant to his charms. The next time that we see her, she seems to have made a 180-degree turn in her philosophy. It’s implied that she could be under the influence in some way, but the movie never makes Queenie’s motivations entirely clear.
What Is The Significance Of Leta & Newt’s Relationship?
One of the more mysterious new characters in The Crimes of Grindelwald was Leta Lestrange. It’s clear from the first film that something happened between the two, and that Newt probably still loves Leta. The film dedicates a flashback sequence to flesh out their history together, but there’s simply not enough time for us to become invested in their backstory. Similarly, the question of how Leta became engaged to Newt’s brother, Thesius, is even more oblique. Although Leta gets a significant amount of screen time, her motivations on both of these fronts are unclear.
Even though Zoë Kravitz gives a great performance, her untimely death near the climax feels a bit rushed for such a crucial character. It’s true that Leta’s death will create some tension between Newt and Thesius moving forward. At the same time, the lack of clarity in both of their respective relationships with Leta ultimately makes the character feel like a plot device more than anything else. Despite this, David Yates has already confirmed she’ll make a return, probably in more flashbacks. The sequel will provide welcome answers to these questions, but it might be too little too late at that point.
Why is Nagini With Credence?
One of the most perplexing storylines in The Crimes of Grindelwald is the relationship between Nagini and Credence. We first meet the two at the Circus Arcanus, a wizard freak show. It’s immediately apparent that Nagini and Credence have struck up some sort of relationship, although it’s unclear if the two are actually in love or not. Judging by the ending, it seems that Nagini was in love with Credence but the feeling wasn’t necessarily reciprocated. The film gives literally no information on how the two met or why they’re even together in the first place. As a result, Nagini’s inclusion ultimately feels like fan service at best.
Nagini eventually becomes Lord Voldemort’s trusted pet and his final horocrux. But we never knew Nagini in her human form before this, so one would think that she would initially be on Grindelwald’s side of things. However, we learn at the end of the film that she decides not to follow Credence. We really don’t to get to know Nagini in her human form. It’s confusing that she wouldn’t just follow Credence like she had done for the rest of the film. Nagini is bound to switch sides at some point, but the real question is how and why this eventually happens.
What Is The Deal With Credence’s Lineage?
Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room that The Crimes of Grindelwald leaves audiences with is the film’s final reveal. Early in the movie, Dumbledore tells Newt that a phoenix will come to those who are in his family lineage. At the end, Grindelwald presents a phoenix that comes to Credence with the latter presenting his true name – Aurelius Dumbledore. Up until now, the Dumbledore lineage had been pretty well laid out, so this comes literally out of nowhere. There’s a complex history between Albus and his brother Aberforth; which led to the death of their sister, Ariana, after being caught in the middle of an epic three way duel between the brothers and Grindelwald in 1899.
By shoehorning a previously unknown member of the Dumbeldore family tree into their lineage, it creates numerous issues for the film. To play devil’s advocate, there’s a good possibility that this new information could all be a ruse by Grindelwald. Considering how much the movie plays up Grindelwald’s powers of persuasion, this could be his way of manipulating Credence. However, if Credence is a Dumbeldore, this decision only makes the world smaller, while also negating established continuity. Credence was born in 1904, but Albus’ father, Percival, died in Azkaban prison sometime in the 1890’s. Either Credence is much older than we previously thought, or Percival managed to sire a child before he died. No matter what the explanation may be, Credence’s lineage is so confusing at this point that the franchise will probably end up weighing itself down trying to explain it – even though it kind of already has.
How do you feel about The Crimes of Grindelwald‘s confusing plotlines? Let us know in the comment section below!