Fantastic Beasts – The Secrets of Dumbledore | A darker sequel ★★★½

Third installment in the Fantastic Beasts series Dumbledore’s Secrets is the most successful of them all, despite a somewhat… disappointing ending. However, every fan of the Harry Potter franchise should find their account.

Posted at 8:30am

Marissa Groghe

Marissa Groghe
The press

This new prelude to the Harry Potter saga is set in the 1930s, with populism and the coming war hanging in the air. As the wild Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) gathers a growing following, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) entrusts Norbert Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his cronies with the mission of stopping his dangerous rise. Always punctuated with humor, this third work in the saga, signed like the previous two by David Yates (who also directed the last four Harry Potter films), is also immersed in this series spin off in a universe a little darker than the previous ones.

The franchise takes a very political turn as the new supreme, ruler of the wizarding world, must be elected. One senses strong hints of totalitarianism, populism and identitarianism (which in the wizarding world leads to a hatred of muggles, i.e. non-magical people,) in the exploited codes.

New accomplices join Norbert’s band, including his own brother Thésée (Callum Turner) and American witch Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams), two important and relevant figures in this cast.

More of Dumbledore

We’re not exactly sure what “Dumbledore’s Secrets” means. Because when the illustrious and mysterious magician, so well interpreted by the fantastic Jude Law, occasionally manages to slip into the course of the plot, there is hardly any talk of secrets. We actually only counted one, which ultimately doesn’t have much impact on the main plot.


Mads Mikkelsen, aka Gellert Grindelwald, in a scene from the film

Note that one of the most persistent rumors about him is confirmed in the first few minutes of the film. His sexual orientation (or rather his love for Gellert Grindelwald), which was then mentioned several times, explains some of his past choices and subsequent actions.

With Dumbledore’s name in the title, we would have liked to have seen this young version of the future Headmaster of Hogwarts on screen more often at a time when he wore more than just a toga. He still has the role we know of him, that of the wise man who intervenes at the right moment. The balance is maintained so that Norbert and his fantastic creatures do not take a back seat. Always so lovable and aptly interpreted by Eddie Redmayne, the main character carries the film skillfully on his shoulders.

Equally evil and complex, Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp in the second film, is carried this time by Mads Mikkelsen. Depp’s domestic abuse trial will have forced that change, which we’re finally welcoming. Mikkelsen didn’t suffer makeover (Johnny Depp had platinum hair for the role, since the character was portrayed in it Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), but his Grindelwald is more convincing, colder and less likeable, mired in his megalomania and delusions of identity. More subtle in his interpretation, Mikkelsen sends shivers down his spine. Also worth mentioning here is the acting performance of Ezra Miller in the role of Creedance Barebone, always so excellent that it makes us feel awkward.

We’re dealing with a film that wants to please connoisseurs of the wizarding world and offers many opportunities to smile thanks to the careful wink. It’s always nice to see the places (Hogwarts!), the objects and the characters that we know of that appear occasionally in this chronicle of the past. The soundtrack also skilfully tickles our nostalgia and lets us return to this magical world just by the sound of a few famous chords.

The ending of the feature film is the weakest point of this film, which is far from perfect but quite enjoyable. This ending lacks bite and is hard to believe. Yes, it’s all about wizards and wands, but ultimately it’s the lack of credibility (or lack of action) at the end of the Dumbledore’s Secrets what scares us.


Fantastic Beasts – The Secrets of Dumbledore (VF: Fantastic Beasts – Dumbledore’s Secrets)

David Yates

Starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Williams

2:22 a.m



Fantastic Beasts – The Secrets of Dumbledoreby David Yates


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