Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore The Rowling Library Review Is Up

Patricio Tarantino, author of Secret History of the Wizarding Phenomenon and founder (Wizard in Chief) of, is that rarest of rare birds, a Potter Pundit, collector, and fan who is admired and respected by academics, fandom leaders and hoi polloi, and even Rowling, Inc. He was invited from his secret hide-out beneath Tarantino Manor to join the Premiere Press Posse in London and he made the trans-Atlantic trip and had a moment on the Red Carpet. 

And he has posted his review of Secrets of Dumbledore at

I have been excited by the trailers, frankly, and have been a little concerned by several of the reviews that are up at Rotten Tomatoes (where the film is showing only a 65% positive rating with more than 250 entries) that once again I have been duped by a creative trailer packaging team. Turns out, I have been duped but not the way you might think…and Mr. Tarantino thinks I will enjoy the movie if I keep in mind one thing. Which I’ll share after the jump!

The good news for those of us who want to remain – or, in my case, become — enthusiastic about Beasts 3 is that Patricio Tarantino thinks it is a very good movie, indeed. As he wrote in The Daily Prophet, the TRL newsletter, on his return home last week, “I think it is the most enjoyable film in the Fantastic Beasts series. It is an fast-paced action film where you never get bored. The acting is very good and the visual effects are as well.” 

He shares his reservation, though, in the newsletter and in the official review that Rowling’s participation was minimal in the crafting of the movie beyond her original screenplay (that once again we will almost certainly never see). “Warner Bros. knew that J.K. Rowling’s writing (more suited to books than film) was not something that would appeal to the general movie-going public, and so they decided to make (together with Steve Kloves) a film with all the necessary ingredients for the average movie-goer to enjoy.” He thinks it is a heist film formula entry in the Beasts series — and that it works: 

Secrets of Dumbledore is a simpler film than its predecessor, but no less enjoyable for that. On the contrary: simplicity is perhaps its strongest point, going at a fast pace all throughout the movie.

The main plot and conflict is presented in the first scenes, without too many twists and turns. … As if it were a bank robbery movie, we see a formula that has been successful on the big screen before: recruiting, planning and executing a plan against a more powerful entity (sometimes a bank, this time a government).

Mr. Tarantino, a friend to this blog in more ways than I can say without his permission (everyone who writes here is in his debt for the tools and resources he has created and made available; see TRL’s Rowling Index for the most accessible example of that), here has done me another great favor. His review allows me to go to the film with much lower expectations than I would have before reading his enthusiastic but sober opinion of it. It’s a fun movie, he seems to be saying, but not anything like a Rowling reading adventure that will keep you thinking and revisiting for months. 

And I believe him. I’m seriously considering going to see Secrets of Dumbledore next weekend instead of waiting for the “Complete Screenplay” to be published as I wrote yesterday. I’ll definitely be downloading The Rowling Library magazine issue that will be coming out on 16 April that is entirely devoted to Beasts 3. To get a copy of that pdf and the The Daily Prophet Newsletters, go to’s sign up page and follow the instructions there! To read the whole review, to include the spoiler section I did not read and Mr Tarantino’s first thoughts about the big reveals and plot turns of Secrets, go to Review: Fantastic Beasts 3 – The Secrets of Dumbledore at TRL.

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