Magic is in the air and Potterheads around the world will be filled with excitement because the third chapter of the magnificent and magical Fantastic Beasts saga has arrived on the big screen in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and this is a story filled with adventure, mystery and discovery.
With Gellert Grindelwald’s (Mads Mikkelsen) power rapidly growing, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) entrusts Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his friends with a mission leading to a clash with Grindelwald’s army. Dumbledore must also keep track of how long he will stay on the sidelines in the approaching war.
Moving from the late 1920s into the early 1930s, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finds the Wizarding World gripped by the threat of growing darkness and chaos with the rise of the charismatically dangerous Gellert Grindelwald at the helm, and it’s going to take a plucky team of would-be heroes to stop him. This is the world and narrative that director David Yates introduces us to and the action builds quickly in this bold new chapter of the Fantastic Beasts saga. Looking to the film noir genre for inspiration, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a darker more intense experience for Potter fans, and Yates focuses his attention on building this film out as a globe-trotting adventure film.
Along with the fast-paced action of his narrative, Yates also builds out Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore as a team movie and focuses on an ensemble cast and the formation of Dumbledore’s ‘first army’ to combat the actions of Grindelwald adds to the excitement of the film. Along with quirky magic zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), this team include his brother Theseus (Callum Turner); Ilvermorny tutor Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks (Jessica Williams); respected wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), Newt’s dedicated assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates) and Newt’s No-Maj friend Jacob Kowalski. All of these characters have an interesting part to play, and each actor brings a unique talent and skill which is in keeping with the classic team movie and Dumbledore’s plan.
Returning to the screen as the much respected and honoured British wizard and Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore is celebrated British thespian Jude Law and here he gets to expand on, and look deeper into the character of a younger Dumbledore. While we first met Dumbledore’s younger self back in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, here we get a far deeper picture of his role within the Wizarding World and his dark and complicated past. Key to this past was his one-time attraction to Gellert Grindelwald and it’s very clear that Law’s Dumbledore is seeking a path to redemption and is looking for a way to atone for his past transgressions. Law again plays this young Dumbledore with a keen inquisitiveness, along with the ability to think on his feet and act accordingly.
Making his debut in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and bringing a dangerous new threat to the Wizarding World is celebrated actor Mads Mikkelsen who takes on the role of Gellert Grindelwald. And he brings a devilish charm to the character. Mikkelsen brings an air of menace, authority and dangerous charisma to the character and whenever he’s on-screen you can’t take your eyes off of him. He brings an enticing and calculating quality to the character and you can see why so many would turn to the dark side in order to follow him. His confrontations with Law’s Dumbledore also play up well and their bitter and violent duel on the peaks of Bhutan, is a spectacle to behold as sparks fly and the action heats up.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has amazing worldbuilding and some great key performances and audiences seeking a confrontation between light and dark in the form of Dumbledore vs Grindelwald will be well pleased.
Image: Warner Brothers Pictures