Film Review – The Hollywood Reporter

After four years, “Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets” has arrived, and it’s more of a grind than an event. The long-awaited third installment in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World sub-franchise is less bogged down with distracting details than its immediate predecessor, but even a more refined plot can’t keep the two-hour-plus movie from feeling like a test of resistance.

Some of the stress comes from the behind-the-scenes drama leading up to the film’s theatrical release on April 15. Johnny Depp, who played the franchise’s villain Gellert Grindelwald in the second installment, has been embroiled in domestic abuse allegations made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone, has faced problems of his own after smothering a fan outside a club and, more recently, attacking people at a bar in Hawaii and allegedly breaking into a woman’s hotel room. random couple. Then there’s the series’ progenitor, Rowling, who has spent the last two years aggressively reaffirming her anti-trans views.

Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets

The bottom line

More focused but no less disappointing.

Release date: Friday, April 15
To emit: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Mads Mikkelsen, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, William Nadylam, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Victoria Yeates
Director: David Yachts
Screenwriter: JK Rowling Steve Kloves

Rated PG-13, 2 hours 22 minutes

It’s hard not to think about these real world problems when looking at Dumbledore’s secrets, which draws its main plot points from current political struggles. While the film’s moral concerns still come down to the battle between good and evil, Rowling, who wrote the screenplay with Steve Kloves, uses an upcoming Wizarding World election to up the stakes on this conflict. Being good is fighting for the preservation of democracy, “doing what is right, not what is easy”, as Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) insinuates at one point in the film. To be bad is to do the opposite.

Dumbledore’s secrets It opens with a chilling encounter between Dumbledore and Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen), the avatars of this moral conflict. They meet in an iced, almost palatial cafe where seemingly unaware non-magical people buzz around them. Over tea, the two warring and heartbroken wizards revisit their past and renew their betrayals. Grindelwald’s commitment to dominating the wizarding world and starting a war with non-magicals leaves Dumbledore in a difficult position. The future headmaster of Hogwarts must stop his nemesis and former lover, but a pact made decades ago prevents the two from fighting each other directly.

That’s where Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the timid magizoologist of the series, comes in. Dumbledore recruits Newt to help him put together a team that will defeat Grindelwald. The ragtag team is a family group, made up entirely of characters from previous installments: Newt’s assistant Bunty (Victoria Yeates), his brother Theseus (Callum Turner), his friend and Muggle baker Jacob (Dan Fogler), brother by Leta Lestrange, Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), and Charms teacher Eulalie “Lally” Hicks (Jessica Williams).

They come up with a plan with several moving parts, their goal is to confuse Grindelwald, who can see into the immediate future. If the group can outwit the cunning wizard, Dumbledore hopes they have a chance to save the world. The plan to confuse requires the skeptical team, led by a reluctant Newt, to trust each other. A similar confidence is required from viewers, who after two long installments must trust that this third film will inspire faith in an unstable series.

Compared to the previous two movies, dumbledore’s secrets feels more like a Harry Potter movie that a fantastic beasts a. While some magical creatures do appear, one is even central to Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s plans, they are by no means the anchor. This installment revolves around Dumbledore, a more interesting character than the supposed hero of the series, Newt. That change sharpens the narrative of the film, but it doesn’t help those of us trying to figure out the series’ purpose much.

secrets of dumbledore although it is not without its charms. Director David Yates (who directed four Potter movies and all fantastic beasts thus far) returns with a formidable team including director of photography George Richmond, production designers Stuart Craig and Neil Lamont, editor Mark Day, costume designer Colleen Atwood and composer James Newton Howard to recreate the rich and textured Magic World. Battle scenes, slowed down and shot from a variety of angles, add tension and showcase the franchise’s technical precision and prowess. The magical creatures are carefully constructed and the world inside Newt’s briefcase is still dazzling.

As Newt and his friends travel through the Wizarding World, a journey that takes them from New York and Berlin to Bhutan, they come to understand Grindelwald’s influence and the allure of his vision. (Her promise to him that under his reign wizards will be able to live and love freely led Jacob’s love, Queenie, played by Alison Sudol, to the dark side in the last film.)

As Grindelwald mounts a campaign to become president of the International Confederation of Wizards, he transforms himself into a fascist figure, whose exclusionary posturing and hateful rhetoric touches and emboldens a frustrated mob. But it’s hard to believe Rowling and Kloves’ script, which remains on the surface of this metaphor. A viewer attuned to the narrative’s resemblance to real life might have a hard time getting over the irony of a writer like Rowling promoting messages about humanity, love, and radical acceptance given her recent public comments.

Yes dumbledore’s secrets it has a reason for existing, it is perhaps as evidence of coping with disenchantment. It’s hard to stay in love with the Wizarding World when its output is mired in controversy and its creator frequently espouses dangerously short-sighted views. This inevitably influences perceptions of the work, revealing, at least to this reviewer, just how obsessed these films are with binaries: good and evil, rich and poor, love and hate, light and dark. . But life, like storytelling, is much more complicated, and that’s a lesson the franchise should embrace.

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