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‘Fantastic Beasts – The Secrets of Dumbledore’ (Review) Exhilarating for the most part and Bhutan features at the end…

‘Fantastic Beasts – The Secrets of Dumbledore’ (Review) Exhilarating for the most part and Bhutan features at the end…

Moments of humour yet evil awaits…

By Mamie Colfox

JK ROWLING’s third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ was a surprisingly captivating tale of a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) coming head- to- head with former lover-come-enemy Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelson), after their blood pact is broken.

The film begins with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he helps a magical creature known as a Qilin give birth to twins, which, combined with George Richmond’s epic cinematography, is a beautiful way to start off the much-anticipated film.

Although Jude Law’s portrayal of Dumbledore was pleasing at times, compared to the original Harry Potter films, he lacks depth and wasn’t the gentle, wise wizard the original films portray. Perhaps it was difficult to imagine Law in such a role? Or was it intentional? Since Law mentioned his regression as a character in the film’s press conference, “he is not fully formed and is finding his way”.


Scamander’s Qilin twins are heartbreakingly separated at birth when members of Grindelwald’s army snatch one away from him. Although a magical creature, Grindelwald’s bloodthirsty killing of this lifelike animal was, all the same, rather uncomfortable to watch.

The previous two films in the franchise see Dumbledore as more of a paternal figure for Scamander, yet this film sees a more fraternal, equal relationship forming between the pair as Dumbledore entrusts him with more responsibility.

Moments of humour come largely from Jacob (Dan Fogler), the ‘muggle’ who is determined to find his wife Queenie (Alison Sudol) after Grindelwald kidnaps her in the previous film, and whom Scamander recruits as part of his team. His obvious ignorance to the wizarding world brings another dimension to the dark themes of the film, and is the most relatable character since- well- we are all muggles too (as humans!)

The mountain kingdom of Bhutan, next to India and close to Nepal, features as the setting for the final duel when Dumbledore and Grindelwald finally meet after an entire film of their army’s doing their dirty work for them. Mikkelsen paints an extremely menacing picture of Grindelwald with his disregard for tradition when he resurrects his dead Qilin, and his piercing laugh sends shivers down your spine.

ACV rating: *** ½ (out of five)

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is in UK cinemas now

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture