In the wonderful Wizarding World, yet another movie has been released. Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is the newest adventure brought to us by J.K. Rowling.
This continuation of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ story follows Magizoologist (an expert on magical creatures) wizard Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne, whose love for magical creators has put him in some questionable situations. Newt’s sidekicks, the Niffler and Bowtruckle, do make an appearance in this film, but it also highlights some new creatures.
In this third installment, Newt is tasked with bringing together a group of wizards, witches and our muggle friend Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) to help take down the notorious, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, now portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. The role was previously held by Johnny Depp.
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) is squabbling with his affections towards Grindelwald and is trying to plan the best way to defeat him without any casualties. Dumbledore's confession of love towards Grindelwald is the first homosexual appearance in the Harry Potter franchise.
The Quilin, the focal creature of this third movie, is a deer-like creature. It is known to find an individual with the purest of heart. These creatures used to decide the rulers of the wizarding community, but because they are so rare, they were not used for years.
Grindelwald acquired knowledge of the Quilin and sought to control his fate. He discovered that Newt would care for the mother Quilin about to give birth, and killed it before it could breed any further. What Grindelwald was unaware of was that the mother was carrying twins. Newt, being the caretaker that he is, took the other twin into his protection and ensured that Grindelwald had no knowledge of the creature.
This movie leans on the political side of the conflict, which is different compared to the previous two films. With the Wizarding World seeking to elect a new leader, the different political parties will do anything to ensure victory. Grindelwald, newly exonerated, has decided to run for this role.
The means behind the exoneration were blurry to say the least. The previous leader, who cleared Grindelwald’s name, did what was easy, not what was right.
Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) is not in as bright a spotlight anymore. In this movie, he has become a minor character compared to his previous portrayals. With the last movie revealing that Credence is a Dumbledore, one would expect this movie to focus more heavily on that discovery. Instead, the movie only hints to it, or adds the idea when there is a slower moment in the plot.
There are moments in this film that true Harry Potter fans will appreciate. The brotherly scenes between Albus and Aberforth and revealing how their sister, Ariana, died were amongst those moments.
Also, when a new face, Professor Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams), mentioned that she has some of her students use Newt Scamander's book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as required reading, I could not help but smile at Newt’s enthusiastic reaction.
This movie tried to pack a lot of information into its two hour and twenty-three-minute time. There were multiple storylines that were trying to be conveyed all at once, which could confuse some viewers. If you have not seen the other two movies in a long time, I suggest watching them almost immediately before going to the theaters, so confusion can be limited.
Overall, this movie and franchise is always a wonderful adventure and a great way to escape to another world of magic and mysterious creatures.