Fantastic Beasts : The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

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Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald

David Yates has a difficult task of directing stories about the wizarding world with so many details and layers. He gives us a good second part with nostalgia and fuel to look forward to more installments.

JK Rowling gives us more from a world the fans love so much, that we soon get lost in the story and it’s many sub-plots. It was interesting to see a villain who makes Voldemort look tame, and is colder than he was. It’s easy to see why he wanted to follow in Grindelwald’s footsteps, as Johnny Depp sets the cruelty and treachery bar high.

Seeing Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore again on screen is a joy only a potterhead would understand, and just for that alone, this film was worth it. Jude Law is perfect as Albus. The rest of the cast, old and new, with their back stories, all tie in well to the end, accompanied by many tiny glimmers of things we have learned in the potter world.

A decent way to tie in fantastic beasts to the wizarding world, which will eventually lead to events we eagerly anticipate. One thing we can count on for sure, is by the end of the five films, we will have new questions, but a whole treasure trove about a world we have come to love so much.

3/5

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them (2016)

The last wizarding world film we saw was in 2011, so just for bringing it back to us, this film was special.

JK Rowling has given us a new world, a new language and it’s deep and meaningful. What we are up against is far more terrifying than fantastic beasts, most of which are not harmful, some maybe large but all are out of their environment.

It’s the 1920s New York, basic wizarding terms are used and explained, so people who haven’t seen Harry Potter movies or read the books can view this film independently. Eddie Redmayne plays an introvert Newt Scamander, transporting magical creatures who manage to escape. While finding Newt and his beasts the ministry solves issues which plague their own existence.

For fans the film feels familiar, we dive straight into the world, devouring every bit of information, new and old. The beasts are woven in seamlessly, while merging darker and more sinister ideas. David Yates gives a good vision to Rowling’s words, putting together an impactful introduction to four more films which will bring back more of our favourite characters.

3.5/5

The Danish Girl (2016)

Director Tom Hooper, who has handled complex subject matters with films such as ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘Les Miserables’, attempts a walk on the shakiest tight rope.

The year is 1926. A very important detail, when you deal with what’s unfolding on screen. Sexuality issues, gender crisis, all surface elegantly, with treatment very appropriate to the era. Eddie Redmayne has the Herculean mission of showing his own transition (personality, dressing and persona), which he does with total abandon, grace and dignity.

His wife, played by Alicia Vikander has the even more uphill task of trying to decipher what’s going on, while torn between supporting her husband or not. All this and more where we see how truly difficult it must be for someone to forever be at crossroads with their physical identity.

Ably supported by Ben Wishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts and Sebastian Koch, the characters come to terms with a reality which was unheard of at that time. Though the drama unfolds at a slow pace, it tugs the audience into a world it may know very little of.

The film explores the breadth and depth of an individual’s anguish to deal with themselves. A brave effort.

3/5

The Theory of Everything (2014)

A biopic on the life of Stephan Hawking till date, it focuses more on his relationships and struggles in his personal life rather than public.

Actor Eddie Redmayne has already won the Golden Globe and is nominated for the Oscar for his stellar performance. The steady decline in his health and his indomitable spirit which gives him the strength to fight a 2 year sentence into still working today, is portrayed with unerring determination.

Actress Felicity Jones matches him in every way or more, embodying a woman who silently accepted her fate because she loved. And love she did, as she stood by him, being his reason to live initially and later on making sure that he remains alive.

It is often seen that people with brilliant minds or great leaders have a less than perfect personal life. It is no different here. The turn of events surprises, shocks and moves us. Research shows us that it was pretty close to his real life, which raises as many questions as it answers.

Director James Marsh presents the story of a man who has a brilliant mind, who has contributed much to the field of physics and cosmology, a film true to its period right down to the last detail. Not slow paced, it demands attention and empathy, but above all it shows us that even the most well meaning human or action is still not enough.

3.5/5