It is almost a year now since the theatrical release of “ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ”. Though I don’t consider myself a member of the Potterhead community, I religiously watched the movies all my childhood. The last Harry Potter movie came when I was 11. Fantastic Beasts was the spiritual successor. Naturally, I was excited to watch the movie, especially because it was long-awaited. However, that didn’t last long. Like many fans of the franchise, Fantastic beasts was a little too gauzy for me. Fantastic Beasts were forced upon us and not everyone liked them or their zany acts. For context, I would literally watch a movie of the wizarding world even if it had no theme or plot but was just random people shouting spells at each other and I wasn’t excited by FB. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I watched the second movie this late.
The movie unravelled a little bit about the mystery surrounding Ezra Miller( Credence), Zoe Kravitz was good and it essentially had the same establishment vs insurgents quarrels aiding the way to the villains ( cc: AOC, DSA and Democrats).
For adults following the new bombshells, JK Rowling was throwing about the “intense” homosexual relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, few scenes in the movie where they tried to show this may seem too vague and concealed, almost as if it was a dirty secret. Historical context aside, but the characterisation could have been more explicit, at least somewhere in private. But it is understood that the producers wanted an international appeal and needed the grossing from socially conservative Asian and African movie markets.
And that is okay. Here’s why.
Let’s assume it was made exclusively for American and UK audience. Then the relationship would have been shown in more explicit and probably “sexual” terms. But how does it help the LGBT community in any way? Haven’t we seen this in a lot of mainstream movies by now? It would definitely gain the status of groundbreaking mainstream representation of gay characters. Although it wouldn’t be known for that, it would be a good distinction from the garbage can that LGBT representation in MCU is. I am in any way not advocating for such erasure. But there is some good to be seen in what the movie has come to be.
On the other hand, this constraint worked its magic ( can’t help the pun ). The loss of options riveted the writers to come up with creative ways of presenting the love between the characters. The locket that was so keenly shown, had such emotional value. The movie explores the depths passionate love can reach. Dumbledore and Grindelwald wanted so much for their future, they made a pact - a blood pact - to never fight each other. Almost reminds us of Derek and Meredith’s wedding vows - “ To love you even when I hate you ”. It is a new angle indeed and sort of a throwback to the old times where love is not just a mere physical pleasure but a metaphysical state where the things you imagine you can to do with and for the person you love are practically limitless. The subtleness is not be misconstrued as being ersatz but unobtrusive.
The pact shows us how much they wanted to be together. United at heart and in pursuits.