Airing Dumbledore’s dirty laundry

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Secrets of Dumbledore” review


“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie poster, picturing those enlisted by Dumbledore to fight against Grindelwald. Image retrieved from The Rowling Library.

Hannah Hunt, Co-Managing Editor

The third film of the series “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has officially been reassessed in U.S. movie theaters. April 15 was the official release date of the film, which follows the battle between the leaders of the wizarding world. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

The film opens with the main character, Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) helping a mythical creature give birth. The creature, known as a Quilin, was one of the main focuses of the film. Gellert Grindelwald (played previously by Johnny Depp however, due to his legal troubles, Mads Mikkelsen has taken over the role) sends soldiers to retrieve the baby Quilin due to its ability to look into the soul of whoever stands before it. This ability was used in the past to pick who would lead the wizarding world next. However, what Grindelwald is unaware of, the mother Quilin had twins.

What does Grindelwald want with this ability? To sway the upcoming election. He sees it as an opportunity to start the war between muggles and wizards. In order to keep this from happening, Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) recruits the help of five wizards and a muggle with a wand.

Law’s portrayal of Dumbledore coincides with the previous “Harry Potter” films. Once again, it appears that the only person who knows the plan is Dumbledore himself. However, unlike in the “Harry Potter” series, Dumbledore explains his reasons for secrecy. “Our best hope is to confuse him,” Newt explains a note sent from Dumbledore. 

Grindelwald is a seer, meaning he can see into the future. This is another reason he wanted the baby Quilin, as killing it enhanced his ability to see into the future. Grindelwald revives the Quilin in his possession with a charm. This enchanted Quilin would then bow to him when the time came to pick the next leader. 

So the group has several plans acting at once, and none of them know what the plans are. Not only is it confusing Grindelwald, but it confuses viewers as well. These overlapping plans do not make a lot of sense until the very end of the film. 

In the beginning, Dumbledore gives some of the characters an item to help with their individual missions. Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Fogler) is given a snakewood wand without a core. Theseus Scamander (played by Callum Turner), Newt’s elder brother, is given a red tie. Eulalie “Lally” Hicks (played by Jessica Willians), an American wizarding school teacher, is given a book. Bunty Broadacre (played by Victoria Yeates), Newt’s assistant, was given a note for only her to read. This note is her instructions for the plan. She is also given Newt’s suitcase. 

This is another example of confusing the viewers and Grindelwald. All of the items are just handed out with no explanation. No one knows that the book and the tie are Portkeys, magical items used for travel. No one knew that Kowalski would try to attack Grindelwald with his non-magical wand. 

In the end, all the plans are tied together as Lally’s job was revealed before the election in Buhtan, the creation of five identical cases to match Newt’s. None of the members know which case is actually Newt’s, which holds the twin Quilin. Everyone takes one of the cases, unaware whether they have the real one or not, to carry to Buhtan. 

In the end, this was one of the best “Fantastic Beasts” film of the three. Not only does it dive into the lore of Harry Potter, but it also explores the magical creatures of the wizarding world. 

Anyone who enjoys the “Harry Potter” series would probably enjoy this film as well. I would highly recommend it to anyone. However, you should probably watch the first two films before watching this one, if not all the Harry Potter films as well.

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