I’m still in awe that I got a chance to watch an early screening of the latest instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” last night! I was able to do an early review last time as well for “The Crimes of Grindelwald” so wanted to do a similar style review of the movie and the event. Read below as I get into some highlights of the event and what you can expect from the movie! Also, feel free to follow the blog and on social media (Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook) for more content related to the Wizarding World!
Prior to discussing the movie, I wanted to recap the event as it was probably the best fan screening event I have been to (I’m fortunate enough to have attended a few). I’ve broken it down to a few sections to make it easier. If you wanted to just skip to the movie review scroll below to the next heading! You can watch the above TikTok, for a quick recap/preview.
Tickets and Setup
In partnership with Warner Brothers and IMAX, Fantastic Beasts held several fan screenings all over the world on April 6th, 8pm EST they held a fan event across different cities in North America. In Canada, it was partnered with Cineplex which is where I got the tickets (usually how I got to attend the other fan screenings I’ve attended). I attended the one in Toronto, which was held where fan screenings are usually held, which is the Scotiabank Theatre (tip: make sure to visit customer service before you leave to validate parking at this theatre). The customer service was great throughout which helped make this experience enjoyable.
After you get your tickets and make your way to the theatre, the ticket attendant gives you a special ticket that you provide to get a special gift bag (details below). After you get your bag, you can get your picture taken in front of the special Fantastic Beasts backdrop and also partake in some green screen photos. If you’re weren’t interested in that or already completed it, you can proceed to your reserved seats to enjoy the fan event.
The fan event essentially was getting some more giveaways and then having an opportunity to scan a QR Code to submit your questions for the cast Q&A which happened live in the New York screening. This was really cool and although the Q&A was really short it was nice to hear from the cast and director David Yates.
The Goodies/Gift Bag
Honestly, this was the best set of freebies I have ever gotten. There was a lot of cool stuff in there that wasn’t cheap. They gave the usual item, the promotional poster (see cast section) but what was cool was that they provided a snapback hat with the movie logo on the front and IMAX embroidered at the back. However, the coolest and most surprising thing had to be getting Dumbledore’s elder wand! I still can’t believe it, and I think Eddie Redmayne was surprised too when him and the cast casted the Lumos spell. See below for the pictures of what was inside.
Similar to the prior review, I wanted to break it down in different sections but still do my best to not ruin anything for those that plan on watching it!
During the Q&A, David Yates said ultimately this movie is about love and I think it is the perfect way to describe this film. I say that because we get to see different types of love in various different types of relationships explored in this movie (love between siblings, love of parents, love between friends, and significant others/partners). I liked that they didn’t shy away from the romantic relationship between Albus & Gellert and addressed it right in the beginning. Also, fans of the Harry Potter book series would enjoy this movie and how we get to explore different elements of the book we didn’t really see before (eg. Dumbledore family).
I believe this movie takes place a couple months after the events of where the second film ends as Grindlewald has some time to settle in with his new team in hopes of achieving his deadly mission. It also shows how some of the characters have reacted to the events that took place in the prior film.
I am curious on how the next film will begin as this film seemed to wrap up nicely by the end of it (of course you will still have some questions about certain characters). Also, just an FYI, there are no end credit scenes.
In this movie we do get to see some new faces but not that much, however that’s not a bad thing at all. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s performance in this film as each character worked cohesively with one another. We get to see some fan favourites Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Jacob Kowolski (Dan Fogler), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), Bunty (Victoria Yeates), and of course, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). It’s also important to note that Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) is in the movie.. but a super minor role this time around. We also got some returning faces that did well in my opinion such as Credence (Ezra Miller), Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), and Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam). Also, Professor McGonagall (Fiona Glascott) makes a brief appearance in this film as well.
I do want to mention that there are key new faces we got to see and they did a great job. The first one I want to mention is the elephant in the room, Gellert Grindelwald now played by Mads Mikkelsen. In my opinion, I did like Johnny Depp’s performance and with the recent updates a bit surprised he was replaced. Nonetheless, Mads had a different take to the character with a more calm yet evil approach, which made his performance great.
The other new character/actor I want to mention is Professor of Charms, Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, who is played by Jessica Williams. She is probably my favourite character in this film, she was an absolute star as she did a phenomenal job. I can’t wait to see more of her in the upcoming films.
I think the tone was pretty calm and collected throughout. There was no big battle or thrilling scenes in my opinion, but it still had dramatic moments where viewers were curious to see how the story unfolds. Mind you there are battles throughout, especially at the end but I didn’t find it as choreographed or climatic as the ones prior. That is just my opinion.
I have to say that comedy is a key part in the prior films but it was essential to the overall entertainment you get from this film. We get to see Newt breakout a “swivel” technique as his life is endangered by skrewts, which was definitely a humorous film (and something I can see being done on TikTok for a little while). However, we can’t talk about comedy and not mention the comedic brilliance of Dan Fogler. His comedic timing and delivery is so natural and seen throughout this movie and I believe the film wouldn’t be enjoyable without it.
We can’t talk about this movie and not talk about the beautiful creatures we get to meet in this film. Of course we get to see the cute and loveable Teddy the Niffler and Pickett the Bowtruckle, but we are introduced to a few more new creatures and their abilities. This includes the Snallygaster and Skrewts. However, the creature that has the biggest role is the Qilin. I can’t help but think based on how adorable it is in this film that it won’t do well as a top selling toy/collectible or through other potential merchandise. Another favourite in the world of Harry Potter we get to see more of in this film is the Phoenix.
In conclusion, based on everything I discussed above I have to say that it is very different from the prior films but still so well done. I can’t say wholeheartedly it is my favourite of the three, but I can’t deny that I am considering it to be. I don’t think anyone would really be disappointed when watching the film if you go in with a good attitude. This movie is essentially a love story that has so many different components and variations of love the audience gets to see and assess, which is also combined with magic we love from the Wizarding World.
In terms of the event, it was also executed nicely and I hope I get the chance to go to more. It was really cool and I am sure others also had a great time. It would have been nicer if the event started a bit earlier so the Q&A could be a bit longer, but still was fun.
I highly recommend this film to anyone, and curious to know what everyone thinks whether you got to see it in an advanced screening or if you see it after it officially releases in theatres. Let me know in the comments below or on social media by also following on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok (especially because there are already several Harry Potter content on there and more on the way)!