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Review of ‘Fantastic Animals: The Secrets of Dumbledore’, return to the magical world

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David Yates returns to direct from a script by JK Rowling with a cast led by Mads Mikkelsen, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller and Katherine Waterston.

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Although JK Rowling appears as co-signer of the script from her own original and as the creator of the entire magical universe started with Harry Potter and already a merchandising factory under the name of Wizarding World, ‘Fantastic Animals: Dumbledore’s Secrets’ has (finally after being the scribe behind the successful franchise since its inception) Steve Kloves as the true author. He is still subject, of course, to the book of style, characters and intention to take us from these prequels to ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. However, Kloves has found enough freedom to be able to introduce in the third installment of these ‘Fantastic Animals’ (which in reality no longer matter at all within the plot) a personal speech, as sad as it is melancholy, about love. It is not unreasonable to say that ‘Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets’ has more inside of ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’, the film that revealed Steve Kloves as director and screenwriter in 1989, that of the Potterian or pre-Potterian genealogy: the triangle here would be, of course, between Albus Dumbledore, Gellert Grindewald and the locket that holds within it an eternal promise of love . The best scenes are where both ex-lovers meet and confront each other, they need each other and try to break an unbreakable bond and where the duels with (erect) magic wands continue to be a sexual choreography, a romantic and decadent waltz.

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The pity is that the film still has to drag a character, Newt Scamander, of whom nothing new is contributed and of whom everything has already been said in the first title dedicated to him. Kloves tries to save him by giving him the most spectacular sequence (and also bordering on the ridiculous: the little dance) and more within the Potter canon: the one with the scorpions in the prison. Or make him a secondary to the climax with the suitcases in a Bhutan worthy of ‘Doctor Strange’ and that at times resembles dealing with the ‘Ronin’ merchandise by John Frankenheimer. But none of it, and less the impersonal direction of David Yates (yes, everything looks nice but like a walk through a theme park), catches as much as what binds the two slaves of a youthful passion. A political and ideological passion that plays very well with the parallelism of the advent of Nazism (of fascism in general), even iconographically (the scenes in Berlin) and with (the most stimulating; thanks Mr. Kloves) the disturbing idea that the The future that Albus Dumbledore promises in theory positive (the alliance of civilizations, feeling above reason) is not far from the dictatorship, war and genocide that Grindelwald embraces.

‘Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets’ it flies high as it moves away from Scamander and his creatures. When is ‘The Serpent’s Egg’ than we imagined happiness at Hogwarts decades later and we already know that it was not and was not. When Judá Ben-Hur and Mesala wear art-deco costumes and their chariot race is a face-to-face encounter in magical solitude like the one at Maria and Tony’s dance in ‘West Side Story’. When the sins of the parents lead to death (precious and poetic like a phoenix) to the children. When in an ending that magically summons ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ by Sergio Leone reminds us that the great story here is that of someone who, not even holding the greatest power in the world, will be able to live in company and will always be tormented by betrayal. For love.

For chroniclers of the pain that lit up the universe.

The best: the scenes between Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen.

The worst: the tics of a harassing Eddie Redmayne who turn James Dean into Buster Keaton.

DATA SHEET

Direction: David Yachts Distribution: Mads Mikkelsen, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston Original title: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Country: United Kingdom Year: 2022 Release date: 08–04-2022 Gender: Fancy Film script: Steve Kloves, JK Rowling Duration: 142 minutes

Synopsis: Professor Albus Dumbledore knows that the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is making plans to take over the wizarding world. Unable to stop it alone, he trusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead a fearless team of wizards and witches on a dangerous quest, encountering animals old and new and facing off against a growing legion of Grindelwald’s followers.

Source: Fotogramas

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