Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

  • 23 Apr - 29 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

The Secrets of Dumbledore is another very amiable and lovely-looking fantasy adventure with some great production design and visual effects, especially in the New York scenes. But it’s not about “secrets” as much as new IP-franchise narrative components shuffled into the ongoing content and shuffled out again. Yet there is certainly something intriguing about the questions arising from the saga’s approach to the existing Potter timeline.

Mads Mikkelsen has been brought into the series to replace the now problematic Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, the evil wizard who once had a close relationship with Albus Dumbledore himself (played by Jude Law). The movie takes us into the world of 1930s Europe and Weimar Berlin; Grindelwald happens to be in prison and is planning to gain absolute control of the wizarding world when he gets out, by the accepted democratic route if that is convenient. Remind you of anyone?

Newt and Grindelwald have each captured a vitally important fantastic beast that will play a key part in the voting process and now Dumbledore is directing a new crew of good guys to tackle Grindelwald’s malevolent strategy, as he prepares to grab control of the wizarding world with a mandate to pursue a hateful war against the non-magic peoples.

Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) is the muggle – New York baker, still poignantly in love with Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) who has gone over to the Grindelian dark side for reasons still to be teased out. There is also Newt’s coolly patrician brother Theseus (Callum Turner), as competent and unfazed as a John Buchan character, and Professor Lally Hicks, stylishly played by Jessica Williams, provides the intellectual steel, wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam) will further upset the applecart and Newt’s jolly-hockey-sticks assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates) has a bit of a non-serious crush on our hero. And as the contest begins, we shall find out more about the enigmatic Dumbledore’s personal life and his relationship with the troubled Credence (Ezra Miller).

And what of Grindelwald himself? Is he more or less important and evil than Voldemort? Well, surely Rowling has all this mapped out. It’s good-natured entertainment, though there is still something weightless and formless about the narrative.

– Compilation