The Secrets of Dumbledore is a huge improvement over the previous Fantastic Beasts movie ★★★☆☆

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Things can get weird in love. In their younger days, wizards Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald had a romantic relationship, a few decades later they are opponents of stature. Dumbledore (Dumbledore in English), a Hogwarts teacher, is the more peace-loving of the two, while Muggle-hate Grindelwald has his sights set on autocracy, black magic, and genocide.

One of the enjoyable aspects of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the love-hate relationship between the two top wizards, played by Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen (who took over the role of Grindelwald from the discredited Johnny Depp). The third installment in the Fantastic Beastsseries, set in a pre-Harry Potter universe created by JK Rowling, is a vast improvement over the previous installment. In it, intrusive digital effects and a jumble of plot entanglements obscured the view of the main characters.

This time the actors really have something to do, besides running around in a magical world full of mythical creatures. Even Eddie Redmayne knows how to give the flat character of the eternally bumbling main character Newt Scamander a little more color. The nicest of the bunch remains New York baker Kowalski (Dan Fogler), who is the only muggle (aka non-wizard) to participate in Dumbledore’s quest to stop Grindelwald’s seizure of power.

The tirthies

The story takes place in the 1930s. Grindelwald wants to be elected in Germany as the new leader of the wizarding world and is willing to lend a hand to the democratic process. Scamander, the zoologist with his briefcase full of animals, must prevent this, with the help of his brother Theseus (Callum Turner) and a number of other wizards. Kowalski hopes to get his beloved Queenie (Alison Sudol) back to Grindelwald.

The English filmmaker David Yates, who also played the previous Fantastic Beastsparts and four of the Harry Potterfilms, keeps the story going well and also beautifully portrays it. The film is said to have a budget of $200 million. From fighting sandwiches to a dancing army of crayfish-like monsters, the digital magic doesn’t miss its effect this time. In this way, the somewhat deadlocked series is put back on track, although the question remains whether the once announced parts 4 and 5 will also come. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has no open ending, and could just be the end of this very expensive film universe.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore


Directed by David Yates

With Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller.

143 min., in 153 halls.

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