Arts, Movies, Review

New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Film Delivers Mesmerizing Magical Elements

★★★★☆

Living in a world full of magic and mythical creatures may seem like a dream to some, but with all the whimsy comes an abundance of dark magic. Along with every phoenix and griffin, there’s a person attempting to take advantage of the animals’ good hearts and powers. 

In Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the screenwriters take magical realism to a new level. In the previous movie in the series, Gellert Grindelwald is sentenced to life in prison. But in this latest edition, the fact that Grindelwald is freed with no restrictions at the beginning of the movie is a cop-out for the writers, who needed a way to keep the story moving. 

Despite lackluster storytelling tricks, this third installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, an extension of the world of Harry Potter, offers all the magical elements. With spells, potions, and elaborate CGI backgrounds it includes everything you would expect from a movie about wizards. 

The movie reveals how  Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) used to be a team until Grindelwald turned to the dark side of the wizarding world and desired to initiate a war between muggles and wizards. The evil wizard plots to become the leader of the Ministry of Magic, and Dumbledore must challenge him. 

Because Dumbledore and Grindelwald are bound by a blood pact, they cannot directly duel each other. Instead, Dumbledore enlists help from magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his crew to defeat Grindelwald. 

This film features more imaginative animals than in past Harry Potter movies, including an Augurey, a bird that turns into a hot air balloon in order to fly people from one place to another. The classical music that accompanies each scene contributes to the whimsy and surrealism of each magical scene.  

Fantastic Beasts, in addition to the classic magical elements from the world of Harry Potter, intertwines multiple romantic plots throughout the movie to further captivate the audience. The most compelling relationship is an LGBTQ+ romance in the storyline between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, something that is new for movies in the wizarding world. 

April 24, 2022
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