Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director David Yates and Warner Bros. Pictures are secrets revealed with FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

It is 1932 China and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has arrived to help the magical creature Qilin have her baby. In his moment of joy, it is all interrupted by Credence (Ezra Miller) and a group of Grindelwald’s (Mads Mikkelsen) lackeys. Trying to save the baby Qilin, Newt is attacked, and the newborn is taken from him. What the attackers do not know is that there was a second Qilin born and now Newt must hide it.

Dumbledore (Jude Law) calls upon Newt for help as he is unable to stop Grindelwald because of a blood-pact between them. Also being recruited is Theseus (Callum Turner), Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams), Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam) and the return of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) who is still pining for Queenie (Alison Sudol).

Each has a role to play, and it begins with Yusuf turning up at Grindelwald’s hide out which will not be hidden for long. The International Confederation of Wizards has acquitted Grindelwald of all the crimes he committed. Using the Qilin’s blood, now he can see what Dumbledore is planning and how to stop it.

As Newt, Theseus, Lally and Jacob go to Germany things get out of hand when Jacob has a bit much to drink and is still upset that Queenie has gone to the dark side. Starting a ruckus, it becomes clear that the news will spread that there was an assassination attempt by the muggle Jacob! Also, Theseus is taken into custody as things get more complicated. Grindelwald sends Credence to defeat Dumbledore who tries to explain to the young man that he has not been told the truth.

Dumbledore gives the next assignments that first they must rescue Theseus and then make their way to Bhutan where the new Supreme Mugwump will be elected. In order to get close to Grindelwald, a diversion is created allowing Newt to tell everyone what Grindelwald has done. In anger, Grindelwald tries to hurt his protégé, but Albus and his brother Aberforth (Richard Coyle) are not going to allow it.

It is time to put everything right in the wizarding world!

Law returns as Dumbledore and per his usual habits, he is playing a game of wizard chess of his very own. He can not go against Grindelwald due to the blood-pact, but he certainly has no problem going around it all. All along he has trusted Newt with his plans and this time around is no exception. Law gives us a straightforward Dumbledore, a younger version of the character we all have come to love and does it with finesse and wonderment.

Redmayne as Newt is back with his love of creatures great and small and, at the same time, has full trust in what Dumbledore is trying to accomplish. Newt knows that if Grindelwald is not stopped, the wizarding world as well as the muggle world will collide in the most brutal way. Newt is smart, vulnerable and a loyal friend to all who truly come to understand him. Redmayne has given us such an amazing character who believes in doing ‘what is right instead of what is easy’.

Mikkelsen as Grindelwald has had the very difficult task of bringing a second life to this character. I have been a fan of Mikkelsen as far back as I can remember and have always been fascinated by the roles he chooses. Coming into the skin of Grindelwald works because he has the unique ability to be a villain without it needing costuming or grandness. Do not get me wrong, if grand is necessary, he can do that too!

Fogler as Jacob is the muggle who might hesitate for a second to rejoin the fight against Grindelwald and for very Queenie reasons. Yet, when Dumbledore calls, Jacob knows there is going to be all sorts of goings on. I love this character because Fogler makes him what we all hope we would be – a good muggle friend. Sudol as Queenie returns, and her presence is a distraction for Jacob as Grindelwald keeps an eye on her. The truth she knows is the truth she tells – well sort of.

Turner as Theseus is now seeing the other side of the wand and the struggles his brother has faced. Now part of the fight, Turner gives his character the fighting spirit against Grindelwald. Williams as Lally is smart, wickedly quick and trusts Dumbledore implicitly which makes her a force to be reckoned with. Williams is absolutely lovely. Nadylam as Yusuf has one of the hardest tasks, being in the presence of Grindelwald and becoming part of his force. Well done Nadylam because going into any lion’s den is not easy, going into the wizard’s den takes guts!

Miller as Credence has the saddest role of them all. He believes Grindelwald and uses his anger to fight everything Dumbledore stands for. It takes wand vs. wand in order to learn what he needs to. Miller is the dark wizard, yet he reminds me so much of Severus Snape and that is a compliment to Miller even if it did make me a bit sad.

Other cast include Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, Poppy Corby-Tuech as Vinda Rosier, Maja Bloom as Carrow, Paul Low-Hang as Zabini, and Wilf Scolding as Frank Doyle.

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FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the film that unravels mysteries, bands people together for the good of both the wizarding world and the muggle world. Fighting against a force that only wants to destroy, Dumbledore brings together the brightest and most loyal to help him stop the madness.

What I loved also about the film are the little, subtle pieces in the film. From seeing Hogwarts again which made my heart thump an extra beat, to the seeker, markings on the Tibetan wheel and so many more. See if you can find them yourself because it is so much fun.

The cinematography is once again grand in a way that it adds so much to the story. The CGI is what you would expect of the wizarding world and the soundtrack is memorable. All of this brings the viewer (and fans) back into this special place that has captured the worlds attention since the beginning. Get your wands ready!

In the end – return to the magic!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.