Jude Law Is NOT My Dumbledore
Listen, I love Jude Law as much as the next person. I will happily watch him alongside Robert Downey, Jr. in Sherlock Holmes or even as Lemony Snicket in A Series of Unfortunate Events. He is the kind of actor who is able to translate between fandoms and be met with open arms. He is talented at what he does and if I might add, unbelievably handsome. Some of my favorite movies are even starring him! I was so excited after hearing that he was cast as “young” Dumbledore, but after watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I’m not quite sure that I can ever truly see Jude Law as our beloved Hogwarts professor. Here’s why:
Dumbledore has never been the handsome silver fox; even his fellow wizards seemed to find him eccentric (in dress and personality). I guess he could’ve had some intense midlife (quarter-life?) crisis after Grindelwald’s defeat, but I just want to know how he aged about 40 years in 11 years’ time. If Jude Law’s version of Dumbledore had been my Hogwarts professor, I definitely would’ve acted how Hermione did around Gilderoy Lockhart. Dumbledamn…
Jude Law’s appearance aside, most people seem to have “chosen a side” when it comes to Richard Harris vs. Michael Gambon playing the Hogwarts Headmaster. While Harris only played Albus in the first two Harry Potter films, more often than not, he seems to be the fan favorite. There’s frequent criticism of Gambon’s refusal to read the Harry Potter books and his increasingly loud, aggressive portrayal. I’m not sure it’s very fair to compare the two actors since we don’t really get to spend time with Dumbledore until the later books, but I think it’s safe to say that Dumbledore was written as strong and fearless while simultaneously approachable and kind. I have to admit that I didn’t get much of any of that from Jude Law. To me, Youngledore seemed weak and manipulative.
We learn from his first appearance that young(ish) Albus sent Newt to America, and Mr. Scamander still doesn’t know why. Just like we would witness later with Harry, we saw a manipulative mentor in a young man’s life. As represented in Crimes of Grindelwald, however, we saw a more unashamed exploitation. As previously stated in regard to his appearance, I will admit that Dumbledore still could’ve been maturing and changing at this point in his life. But as a 40-something Hogwarts professor who we know already realized that Grindelwald was bad and whose sister had died, it’s hard for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was supposed to have grown up a little by 1927, right?
Jude Law’s Dumbledore essentially spent the entire film being unable to move. We’re lead to believe, by the end, that this was because of the blood pact that he supposedly had made with Gellert Grindelwald (about which fans have already pointed out numerous problems and inaccuracies). Where did the strong, brave man who could be the only one to match Voldemort go? That’s not my Dumbledore. We learned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that Dumbledore had always been a brilliant, talented wizard, but Jude Law just came off as fragile and unsteady to me. You literally can’t do anything to fight Grindelwald except send a Hogwarts dropout (expel-out?) on an unknown mission to do your bidding? Pathetic, in my opinion.
I will say that Jude Law did depict Dumbledore’s mysterious side well. Harry – and I – had never thought much of Dumbledore’s past until his death. Jude Law, however, has left me craving more! I should also acknowledge that I can’t blame all of this on Law – I’m sure much of it was written for him, and there’s only so much he can portray with the story that he’s been given. That being said, thus far, he is not my Dumbledore, but I guess the jury’s still out for me.
So what do you think – will Jude Law leave fans as opinionated as the other two portrayals of Dumbledore did?