Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore Movie Review
Story: Serving as a spin-off and a prequel to the Harry Potter film series, the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise follows Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and his team led by wizard and his former student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as they plan to thwart the nefarious motives of the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), who strives for world domination by initiating a wizard-muggle war.
Review: The story of good vs evil is as old as the hills. It could be good guys vs bad guys, good mutants against bad mutants (X-Men), righteous superheroes fighting against the supervillains (every superhero movie) and so on and so forth. All wars lead to saving the world and those who cannot defend themselves. Based on JK Rowling’s (billion dollar) imagination and world of wizardry, Fantastic Beasts’ third instalment — ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ treads similar territory.
A bunch of good wizards along with a heroic muggle (person with no magical abilities) baker must assemble and globetrot to ward off the dark wizards. There’s a catch though. The rivals (protagonist Dumbledore and antagonist Grindelwald) are former lovers and bound by a ‘blood pact’ that could destroy them both if they choose to go against each other. Grindelwald’s ability to see into the future and ruthless ambition for world dominance makes him a dangerous nemesis. Dumbledore and team must race against time to save rare animal, gate-crash wizard elections and safely smuggle Newt’s leather bag into Grindelwald’s ascension ceremony before things escalate. Can they do it? No surprises there.
Don’t let the title excite you. The Secrets of Dumbledore aren’t as mysterious as one may want to believe. That backstory follows the usual strained past family tropes. The emotional core of the story is predictable and generic. It’s the humour and misadventures that make this film an interesting watch and way superior to the previous (second) instalment. Team Dumbledore’s shenanigans and the film’s visual mastery manage to transport you to a different time and place. The film takes you to an enchanting world of magic and old world charm, a huge respite from the mundane.
The posh Brit army — smirking Jude Law, affable Eddie Redmayne, Shawn Mendes’ lookalike Callum Turner keep you engaged from beginning to end. Mads Mikkelsen who replaces Johnny Depp here is terrific as Grindelwald. Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, aka Aurelius Dumbledore gets lost in the chaos somewhere but makes his presence felt as an actor despite his tepid subplot.
The Secrets of Dumbledore doesn’t offer anything new in terms of story but that doesn’t curb its ability to cast a spell on you. The wizard elections are fun, too! This one deserves a family theatre outing regardless of your familiarity to the Harry Potter film series.