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In the fight between Graves and Tina at the end of the movie, their wands connect and it seems that Graves is not having it that easy.

Since Graves is Grindelwald, one of the most powerful wizards at the time, this seems strange.

Why didn't he finish the fight quickly?

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Presumably this was a stylistic choice on the part of the director; nothing in the script indicates that Graves was struggling against Tina:

Tina runs into view behind Graves. She fires at him, but he turns just in time, his reactions marvelous, astounding.

The Obscurus now vanishes. Graves, thoroughly irritated, advances on Tina, deflecting her spells with perfect ease.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (2016)

That being said, Tina isn't unskilled with a wand; they don't let just anyone into the Auror corps, after all. Of course he does finish their duel quickly, but by distracting her rather than killing her.

I suspect this scene is meant to indicate that Graves has underestimated Tina; he clearly does underestimate her, as revealed in an early scene when Newt's case is revealed to have been switched with Jacob's:

On seeing the contents, [Newt] looks horrified. Graves looks confused, but smirks slightly — another one of Tina's mistakes.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (2016)

Realizing his mistake now, Graves opts to pursue the Obscurus rather than waste his time with a duel; every minute he spends trying to kill her, the farther away his prey gets.

When one is an evil bureaucrat, it is important that one has their priorities in order.

  • 1
    Grave is technically correct, the best kind of correct. – Valorum Nov 24 '16 at 17:06

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