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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 15, 2022



‘FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is the last film in the trilogy that is a prequel to the Harry Potter series. 

It started with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them” in 2016 and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” came in 2018. Grindelwald was played by Johnny Depp in the first two films. 

Now, in the final installment, which is currently showing on HBO, he is replaced by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen after his involvement in the domestic violence case with Amber Heard where he is eventually vindicated. 

The “Fantastic Beasts” prequels are evidently just a brazen attempt to get more revenue out of the moviegoers’ love for the Harry Potter series.

The series is set in the 1920s and introduced a new lead character, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) a British magizoologist. 

In the new film, we see Newt in the 1930's helping a magical deer-like creature called Qilin as it gives birth in China. 

The Qilin can help one see into the future. The henchmen of Grindelwald kill the mother and abduct the newborn Qilin, which Grindelwald also later kills. 

What they don’t know is that the creature gave birth to twins and Newt is able to rescue the other one. 

Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows that Grindelwald has plans to control the Wizarding World’s International Confederation of Wizards in its coming election. 

But he cannot fight Grindelwald (who he loves) because they previously had a blood pact, so he asks the help of Newt and his colleagues to thwart Grindelwald’s ambition for world domination. 

Key characters from the past two movies are brought back and some new ones are introduced but somehow, you get the feeling that you have lost interest in the convoluted goings on, with its silly plot point where the result of their very important election hangs on who a weird deerlike creature would choose.

And why is the movie’s title “The Secrets of Dumbledore”? 

He doesn’t even hide that he is gay as JK Rowling already outed him before. 

The film’s prologue shows that he once had the hots for Grindelwald, which is the reason why they both have vials of their blood that they wear as necklaces.

The other secret we can think of is the revelation that Dumbledore has a nephew, Credence (played by Ezra Miller of “The Flash” who just figured in a lot of legal troubles off cam), who works for Grindelwald. I

t turns out he’s the son of Dumbledore’s brother and father and son have a touching reunion in the end. 

Actually, the biggest secret in the movie is why Grindelwald’s appearance has changed from Depp to Mikkelsen, but they don’t even make a passing mention of it. 

We guess they just assume that the public is sure to be engrossed with and already following Depp’s scandalous personal life. 

To begin with, Newt as a hero is definitely less interesting and less relatable than Harry Potter, whose coming-of-age story as the Boy Who Lived is definitely much more engrossing, and more endearing to younger fans. 

At this point in time, the fans of the original Harry Potter series have all grown up and they have also obviously outgrown the Wizarding World.

If they intend to make movies about this world, then maybe, it’s time to get a new writer and a new director to continue the franchise.

Rowling as writer and David Yates as director (who helmed the last four Potter films and the two Beasts films), have apparently already overstayed their welcome. 

In fairness to Yates, visually, the special effects are still truly stunning and spectacular, but the material and the wizarding universe need fresh new minds and sensibilities as energized driving forces to jumpstart and upgrade the series anew.