Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Review & Summary: Needs More Beasts

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Video Source – Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube Channel)

In the land of magic, another movie has been added. Warner Brothers released the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts series titled Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on 8th April 2022. It is important to note that the writer does not support J. K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Cast

  • Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander 
  • Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore 
  • Ezra Miller as Credence 
  • Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald 
  • Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski 
  • Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein
  • Jessica Williams as Professor Hicks

Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Plot

Continuing from where the second movie ended, Newt and Dumbledore put forth the plan to stop Grindelwald from unleashing a war between the Muggle and Wizarding world. Newt, being a magizoologist, uses his knowledge of the beasts to stop the upcoming destruction. 

Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Review

The Wizarding World was a world that I would readily give up everything on to shift to. Since I read the books, I have dreamt of getting a letter calling me to Hogwarts and then learning all sorts of spells which I then cast from the wand that chose me at Ollivanders. A perfect fantasy complete with detailed trips to Hogsmeade. Who has never wanted to try Butterbeer?

Yet, in the past few years, it has only been getting tarnished because of the person responsible for creating it in the first place. Rowling has made the childhood dream a controversy that has ended up destroying the charm of the magic life. While the cast of Harry Potter does their best to distance themselves from her (Emma Watson is a queen), the Fantastic Beast franchise does not. 

The series is produced and written by J. K. Rowling herself meaning that the success of the movie goes back to her. It is truly unfortunate but the recent controversy has made even die-hard fans, sacrifice the world. 

While I do believe that in the case of a movie, the art is certainly greater than one of the persons/ artists involved, I also firmly stand by Rowling not getting any benefits out of projects anymore. 

Having said that, I will have to say that ‘Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore’ the third addition to the series was surprisingly above average. The second one had been underwhelming, to say the least. This time around, the movie did much better. It still stands no chance in the first movie. 

Right in the beginning, Dumbledore confesses his love for Grindelwald. We all knew that their relationship was a lot more complicated than the books or the movie let on but finally getting an acknowledgement of this fact from both of them was a relief. While Law and Mikkelsen didn’t have much chemistry supporting this confession, the entire beauty of it still sunk in. Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald also didn’t have the alluring charm to move entire groups of people the way Johnny Depp’s had which did affect the overall character delivery of Grindelwald. 

The Grindelwald Comparison

As a character, Grindelwald is a cult leader. He persuades people to follow a certain idea almost religiously and can make them into his devotees. Thus, he requires charm, confidence and a distant appeal to them that make people want to follow the person. The Grindelwald of the second movie had all those qualities not simply because of Depp but because of the writing also. Depp’s delivery added more power to it. It is also right to think that the second movie required Grindelwald to be more persuasive as he was building his group then but even in this one, the audience needed to be reminded why the people joined him in the first place.

On the other hand, Dumbledore as a character was built and carried out so well. Dumbledore is often criticised by the audience for being unnecessarily mystic. In this movie too he is annoyingly cryptic but one can also see why people end up respecting and sticking with him. He may say lines like, “Do what is right and not what is easy,” and then get pissed off when the other person does not end up doing what he wants them to do. At the same time, he also comforts and reassures so well. Jacob got the best of Albus and that really did play a huge part in his story. Jude Law also has the most intense communication through his eyes, so when he is even just looking at someone, I can understand why the person is pulled into listening to him. 

Shockingly, this movie gave a lot of interesting surprises. It was made clear from the beginning that the plan is to have many plans overlapping each other to ensure that Grindelwald (who can look into the future) has no idea about the actual plan. It also meant that no one in the team has all the information. Having known there to be many twists throughout, there were many moments where I was at the edge of the seat and then visibly getting shocked or audibly gasping. A small but happy surprise was seeing Young Minerva. Less screen time and yet perfectly her. 

Moving on to the best thing about the movie. The trailer had hinted at this scene but seeing it on the big screen was the best thing that has happened in the wizarding world. Eddie Redmayne and Callum Turner swivelling. Swivelling is the interesting motion of crab walking while also really shaking the butts. I could give context but I really don’t want to. It is the most glorious scene of the entire franchise. Newt and Theseus had really good sibling energy this time.

Another amazing part of this movie was all the relationships. Jacob losing his breath and standing up straight whenever Queenie enters or walks by. Newt blushing and losing his words when Tina (who was unfortunately in the movie only for 1.5 minutes) comes by and the adorable friendship between Jacob and Newt made my heart soar up high. What is not completely clear is whether Bunty (Newt’s assistant) has feelings for Newt or not. While she is definitely indispensable to him, Bunty on multiple occasions has spoken or acted as if she sees Newt more than her boss. If intentionally vague then the movie did a fantastic job. 

Credence comparatively had a smaller role. I understand why Ezra Miller gets creepy roles because the way he smiles and expresses any emotion is chilling. Based on recent news, he does need help but his performance as Credence will forever stay in my mind.

The visuals of the movie from the start to the end were beautiful. From the animation for the magic to the background scenes, everything was breathtaking. Particularly my favourite two scenes were when Dumbledore and Grindelwald interact in the beginning and the dinner scene where Jacob and Hicks are assigned to stop an assassination. In the earlier one, Grindelwald mentions to Dumbledore how the muggle world will be set ablaze so when he walks away the illusion itself burns down with Dumbledore sitting in the middle of it all. The latter too has an interesting use of fire where Jacob is running on a bridge of paper that is slowly burning off as Hicks gets closer to apparating them to safety. 

The only thing that dropped the movie from being fantastic to being above average was the resolution of the entire conflict. It was almost bland. The actual ending was warm and fuzzy but in terms of Grindelwald, the ending was plain. Towards the beginning, we find out what happens when a blood oath is even thought of being broken (it is painful) so when the moment it comes, one expects a lot and yet nothing much happens. Another complaint that has been there since the last movie, is that there need to be more beasts. It is literally there in the name!

The Movie Culture Synopsis

If the movie was not produced by Rowling, I would urge everyone to watch it because the movie does surprisingly do a great job. While it is not sure if there will be another movie, this movie ends in a way that it is suitable for any decision. There is a possibility for a new one but also it feels complete enough for it to end here.