Dumbledore’s secrets are revealed in the final episode of Fantastic Beast – Black Girl Nerds
Three and a half years have passed since the last dive into the wizarding world with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A lot has happened since then in the real world and in the wizarding world. What hasn’t changed is the fantastic hold JK Rowling’s world has on us as her book characters come to life on screen.
Our love for this magical kingdom has only grown over the years due to an increase in social media takeovers, the Wizarding World website formerly known as Pottermore, and even a show HBO special commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, The Sorcerer’s Stone. We now have a full dose of the wizarding world with cool creatures, Newt Scamander, Albus Dumbledore and a visit to Hogwarts.
Warner Bros. Pictures brings us Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets as the direct sequel to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwaldand the third installment in the series of films based on fantastic beasts and where to find them, one of the companion books to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Overall, this is the eleventh film set in the wizarding world.
The film is directed by David Yates, with a screenplay by JK Rowling and Steve Kloves. Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law, Captain Marvel) knows that the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen, Doctor Strange) is about to take over the wizarding world and go to war against muggles (no-maj). Unable to stop it on his own, he turns to magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne, fantastic beasts and where to find them) to lead a heroic, if not random, team.
On his side are muggles, the baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler, The Walking Dead), Chief Auror and Newt’s brother, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner, green room), Professor Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams, The Incredible Jessica James), the world’s most indispensable assistant, Bunty (Victoria Yeates, Call the midwife) and the French wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam, white material). They encounter new and old fantastical creatures and clash with the followers of Grindelwald, including Credence (Ezra Miller, Justice League) and Queenie (Alison Sudol, To dig). Long story short, it’s helpful for character development to have seen at least one of the previous movies.
As Rowling once described the latest installment in the Fantastic Beast series, “The answers are given.” Boy, are they given, to the point where the whole movie hinges on those answers and they’re repeated throughout in case you’ve forgotten. It’s almost like Rowling is like, here! Here are the answers you were looking for, now stop asking. All the people who have demanded evidence in a book or on screen of the LGBTQ+ community in the wizarding world. This is for you. But don’t worry, rough execution isn’t a disservice. It goes with the story. I really enjoyed this movie. Much more than its predecessor, The Crimes of Grindelwald. Was caught off guard with the direct address, of course, but enjoyed it.
All good actors play these characters. It was fun to dive deep into Dumbledore and see Newt’s growth. With more Dumbledore character development, it’s clear that Law has done his homework during quarantine. He fully embraced this beloved character and brought Dumbledore the swagger and charm we see from Michael Gambon in the Harry Potter series. It’s this younger version of Dumbledore and his interactions with Newt, Professor Hicks, his brother Aberforth (Richard Coyle) and, of course, Grindelwald that we can see how he goes from here to the man of over 100 years who sacrifices himself for the greater good.
Speaking of the greater good, Mikkelsen as Grindelwald has done this series a favor. We’ve had four versions of this character (Jamie Campbell Bower, Michael Byrne, Colin Farrell, and Johnny Depp), and Mikkelsen knocked him out of the park. It’s his mannerisms, his gestures, it’s everything he does in this role that makes him ten times better. I’m afraid of this guy. Throughout the film, I wondered how the good would outweigh the bad with him at the helm. He’s menacing and charming, which is necessary in a character who wants to eradicate Muggles.