#Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
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The third entry in the Fantastic Beasts franchise is coming out this week. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his team as they battle Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) to stop his wizard supremacy dreams from coming to fruition. To achieve this Dumbledore (Jude Law) recruits a team headed by Newt to bring down Grindelwald and his army.
Pick your poison
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a lot of fun. Fans who have followed Newt’s journey throughout this franchise will be excited to see this next step. With Grindelwald at an all-time high and Dumbledore and Newt trying to fight him at every turn we see a lot of the wizarding world and its mechanics.
Grindelwald wants his dreams to have proper legitimacy so he looks to become a world leader. With this new power that he would wield his disturbing message would hit the wizarding world as well as the human world hard. It would allow anybody with any kind of backwards thinking to indulge in their hatred and bigotry. It’s a timely message after what the world has gone through in recent history. Compound on top of this the fact that Grindelwald is a man who has become twisted due to hiding his own relationship with Dumbledore and you get a figure who has become quite disturbing. What was once love has become an obsession and his hatred toward muggles only intensifies this malice.
Going up against such monstrous hatred is no easy feat and with Grindelwald also having the power of Aurelius Dumbledore (Ezra Miller) by his side only makes the task even harder. Throughout the film, I found myself excited to see each encounter between the forces of good and evil and I wasn’t let down. The battles were all quite inventive and several of them had a lot of significance behind them. A particular favourite of mine was between Albus and Aurelius. They fight in the streets, in shadows, even in other dimensions and their battle is filled with visual wonder. Also, the two actors deliver compelling performances simply by how they measure each other.
For those out there wondering will there be a genuine conclusion to Aurelius’ story the answer is yes. Whether you like the answer is another. I found myself pleased with the outcome as it adds yet another tragic layer to the house of Dumbledore.
Things are not quite as they appear
If I had any issues it would have to do with the choice of stories being told in this film and the franchise as a whole. This film has two stories going on within it. One story deals with a fantastic beast that will decide the fate of the leadership of the wizarding world. The other story is about Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship. How their twisted dreams have almost brought the wizarding and muggle worlds to their knees.
These two stories each deserve a franchise. For some, this will have too much story that doesn’t delve enough into either. For me, however, there was a decent balance. I loved the characters, new and old. Though director David Yates may need to step away from the franchise to give someone else a chance he still gives this story weight behind it.
Newt is still a wonderfully nuanced character that I connect with on a deep level. He is not a hero, he is simply someone who sees bad things happen and has to help set them right. The same can be said about Dan Fogler’s Jacob. This muggle is an endearing individual. He is a pure human being. He is full of love and warmth. You want him to achieve his goal, of helping the woman he loves. A lot of the new characters are also quite interesting. A favourite of mine is Jessica Williams. She is an American witch with a lot of style, wit and charm.
Almost everything in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore works. From the emotive score to the breathtaking beasts themselves. It is a shame that this franchise decided to go so big so quickly. I think it would have worked better as an anthology series. However, for Potter fans, this adds further layers to the lore of the Wizarding World that you can’t help but be fascinated by.
It won’t be to everyone’s tastes but for those it finds an audience for I think they will be very happy. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.