The magic is back

For some time now, the potterfranchise its own brand: The Wizarding World. Now another production has been added to the (still) growing film series: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Subway couldn’t avoid it and was present at the press presentation of the third part of the Fantastic Beasts movies.

Reporters Fleur Broeders and Nina den Bouw discuss the film after (and enjoyed…).

The story of the new Fantastic Beasts-movie begins with Dumbledore knowing Grindelwald wants to take control of the Wizarding World. He enlists the help of magic zoologist Newt Scamander. Together with a team of witches and wizards (and the muggle Jacob Kowalski), he embarks on a dangerous mission. They come up against Grindelwald’s growing army of followers and Dumbledore can no longer stand on the sidelines.

Fantastic Beasts 3: good, or not?

What did the Metro journalists actually from the movie? He was pretty good! In more words:

Nina: It was of course still questionable whether it would be better than the second film, especially with the switch from Johnny Depp to Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald. But the movie is definitely better than the last movie The Crimes of Grindelwald.

fleur: I agree with that. I was really worried that the movies would become less and less. JK Rowling is of course a book writer, but that doesn’t mean she can write screenplays. That’s why I didn’t like the second film so much, but luckily the makers have repacked themselves. It’s going uphill again!

Nina: The beginning is also very strong. You immediately see the bond between Albus and Gellert.

fleur: I also thought it was a very strong move. Doubt is suddenly made clear and that was really the best choice.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore movie poster. Credit: Warner Bros. Credit Courtesy of Warner-Bros Pictures

The Story of The Secrets of Dumbledore

The film series is based on the great fight between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. This is what is being worked towards in five films. A theme that occurs in this film is war, but also politics and love.

fleur: It’s a politically charged film, which makes it a lot more mature. We know of course The Order of the Phoenix where politics also plays an important role, but that is not like this. The urgency of the plot is greater and important steps are taken in the story.

Nina: The propaganda in this film is also very bizarre. You see it incredibly often and the inspiration seems to be based on the Second World War.

fleur: Part of it also takes place in Germany, perhaps a conscious choice?

Nina: No idea, but it fits the movie. You really see that inspiration coming back: speeches, propaganda and other things that you saw in the late 1930s, early 1940s.

fleur: At the end of the film, something very beautiful is also said: historical days seem so ordinary when you live them yourself. That comes pretty hard after a time of corona and at the start of a war.

In The Secrets of Dumbledore there is also time for love (sometimes with tension). This provides a nice balance between the politically charged side of the film and the softer side.

No more Johnny Depp as Grindelwald

At the end of 2020, it was announced that Johnny Depp would not be returning for his role in Fantastic Beasts† Mads Mikkelsen, known for Hannibal and huntingmay now take the baton.

Nina: I was curious what he would be like, because I would have loved to see Johnny Depp in this film. Especially because Gellert now has a bigger role. Nothing to complain about Mikkelsen by the way, but it’s sour.

fleur: That’s mainly because Depp has already mastered the character in the other two films. Mikkelsen does have a super chemistry with Jude Law (Dumbledore). Maybe more like Depp I’d say.

Nina: It’s different now too. Grindelwald has been manipulative in the previous films and he plays on people’s feelings very much. In this film he is, very succinctly, crude and cruel. It doesn’t feel like the same person, which makes the switch to Mikkelsen feel better.

Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros. Credit Courtesy of Warner-Bros Pictures

fleur: And what a villain. For example, when we think of Voldemort, we think of a white, snake-like man with his staff who shouts: Avada Kadavra! His actions are mainly based on magic and fear. Not Grindelwald, I’d put him above Voldemort as a threat.

Nina: Grindelwald knows how to play people. He seeks out people to bond with them, making them stand behind him. That makes him even more dangerous.

The Fantastic Beasts

at the movie Fantastic Beasts Of course we also wonder what the favorite mythical creatures are.

Nina: 100 percent Pickett, the Bowtruckle. Together with the Niffler they make a really nice duo. I also found the baby Manticores really hilarious! These new critters make for a fun moment in the movie.

fleur: The Qilin is a new favorite for me. That’s a really nice one: a combination of a dragon, a lamb and a horse. Much of the plot is based on this beast and you will fall completely in love with it.

Nina: The big Manticore gave me the creeps. The small ones were fun, but the big one was pretty scary. Not seen in a Fantastic Beasts-movie. Scaring was probably the goal, so they did it right!

Characters in the movie

We also discussed the characters of course:

fleur: Eddie Redmayne has done it again as Newt Scamander. He has those uncomfortable traits when he is around people, but he is completely at ease with the animals.

Nina: No one else can play Newt. He’s doing so nice. Newt Scamander is by far my favorite character besides Kowalski.

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander with Pickett on his shoulder. Credit: Warner Bros. Credit Courtesy of Warner-Bros Pictures

fleur: Kowalski was also very good in this movie. He has only been the “best friend with good one-liners” so far. This time there was a difference, because we go in depth with him. He has his own story to tell and Dan Fogler has been able to show a different side of his acting.

Nina: I think Kowalski is more beautiful now than he was. Also at the beginning of the film, the shelves of the bakery are empty because of his lost love Queenie Goldstein. In the film, he grows as a person and eventually there is another reason to bake.

fleur: Aberforth is also very well cast with Richard Coyle in that role. You sense that there are unspoken matters between the Dumbledore brothers. It fits perfectly with how we know him from the books and movies.

Nina: In the trailers we have also been able to see that Tina is not very physically present in the film. Fortunately she is not forgotten.

fleur: I was happy about that, because she’s one of the main characters. For example, you see her photo in Newt’s briefcase. Fortunately, she can still be seen in the film.

Nina and Fleur agree that the wig Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) wears could have been better. It was a little too obvious that he was wearing a wig.

Is it a must see?

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is definitely a good movie and a big improvement over its predecessor. In some areas it could be a little stronger, but that does not take away from what the makers have put down: a visually strong film, with powerful dialogues and a few nice nods to the Potter series. Whether you want to watch it in the cinema or at home on the couch, definitely do it!

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is in cinemas from tomorrow (Wednesday).

Subway also has the section movie review of the week. You can read it every Wednesday around 6 p.m. New titles always appear in Dutch cinemas on Thursdays (sometimes, such as Fantastic Beasts, on Wednesdays). We choose one every week, tomorrow it will be Where is Anne Frank.

Rating out of 5: 3.5

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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: the magic is back

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