Without the gay love story, Fantastic Beasts makes even less sense | Movies

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HHarry Potter and the wider Wizarding World of JK Rowling are incredibly popular in China. So much so that the country’s Department of Education has added accounts of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s school years to an official list of recommended readings for primary and secondary school students in 2017. The first two Fantastic Beasts films earned over £100 million at the Chinese box office, and the new installment, Secrets of Dumbledore, is also we expect to perform well there.

But when Chinese audiences sit down to find out what Hogwarts’ heroic headmaster has been keeping to themselves, they may wonder if he’s been targeted by one of Potter’s famous characters. confused charms. Because the censors would have taken the decision to remove all homosexual references from the film. These include a line in which Jude Law’s Dumbledore tells the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) that he once followed his dastardly plans “because I was in love with you”, and another reference to “the ‘summer Gellert and I fell in love’ .

Rowling has long been keen to let the world know that Dumbledore is gay, revealing this detail in 2007 to the widespread delight of her readers. Looking back, the revelation appears to have come from another era: a time when Rowling was considered a paragon of liberal decency and phrases such as ‘virtue signal’ and ‘woke’ had barely entered the lexicon. . Regardless of how public perception of him has changed in the meantime, it’s clear the author had a good idea of ​​how Dumbledore’s backstory would unfold, even before she did. kills in the Potter books.

“Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and it added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself what he was,” Rowling told an audience during a 2007 US tour. us that this excused Dumbledore a bit more, because falling in love can blind us to some degree, but he met someone as brilliant as himself and, much like Bellatrix, he was very attracted to that person brilliant and horribly, terribly disappointed.

It’s basically the setting up of Secrets of Dumbledore, and (spoilers alert) it leads to a confusing situation in which Dumbledore is unable to thwart Grindelwald’s efforts to start a war between the wizarding world and the unwitting Muggles. , even though he really, really wants to, due to a blood pact the two wizards made in their youth. Instead, the director has Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and an assortment of wizards and witches (plus Muggle Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler) do it for him – except none of them. they are only in a position to know what the full plan is because Jacob’s ex, Queenie (a legilimens, or mind reader), has gone to the dark side and would expose them all to Grindelwald if they did.

This is all horribly confusing, even if you To do know that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were once lovers. Without this essential treat, it won’t make sense. Which is a real shame for those in China, because Secrets of Dumbledore is a half-decent thread, almost putting the Wizarding World movies back on track after the Half-Gun Crimes of Grindelwald.

This is certainly not the first time that Chinese censors have baffled the public. In February, Chinese streaming platform Tencent Video was forced to restore Fight Club’s original ending after backlash over an edited Chinese edition in which the film’s ending stated that the police “quickly figured it all out.” plan and arrested all criminals”. .

Warner Bros. insists that, despite Secrets of Grindelwald’s cuts, “the spirit of the film remains intact.” Apparently, although the dialogue has been deleted, there are still references to the wizarding couple sharing a close youthful bond.

In other words, Dumbledore has been placed firmly back in his closet. And really, what’s the point of going to see a movie about secrets, if the only really interesting one remains locked up in a vault harder than that of Gringotts?

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