Saturday, 31 January 2015
'Into the Woods' Review (with GIF's!)
Hello and welcome back blogosphere! Today, I'm getting back into my reviewing mode and sharing with all of you what I thought of the new Broadway musical to movie adaptation of 'Into the Woods'. Once again, I'm actually pretty delayed in posting this. Being the musical fangirl I am, I practically made it my mission to go and see this film the day it came out (January 8th), and then of course to let it sink in another time, I watched it again the next day. So yeah, I apologise for the delay and all that jazz, but let's face it, I doubt any of you were hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for my critique. Nevertheless, my judgement of the flick awaits you below. Did I enjoy it? Did it live up to my admittedly sky high expectations? You'll have to wait and see.
Okay, let's get real, of course I loved it! It's a musical, so it's already got that going for it, plus, it's got one of the best casts ever, so what's not to like? Inevitably, the movie adaptation slightly pales in comparison to the original musical, but that's pretty expected considering it's impossible to fully capture the magic of theatre on screen. However, director Rob Marshall did give it a pretty good go. It was entertaining, it was funny, and it was quirky, a truly stellar combination.
So before I start getting into the nitty gritty of what I like about this film, I feel it only necessary to give you a sense of what it's about with some short plot retelling.
The movie begins as we are introduced to a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), a loving couple who long for a baby, yet are cursed with childlessness by a not-so-wicked-witch (Meryl Streep).
However, the story has only just begun, the witch requesting that the couple venture into the woods and retrieve for her 4 items intended to restore her youth - a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. In exchange, she has agreed to reverse the curse and grace the two with a child, leading to their immediate acceptance of her proposal.
On their journey, the Baker and his wife meet a number of travellers, these being stock standard fairytale characters Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), a pre-beanstalk Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy). Of course things don't go exactly according to plan, the collection of fairy stale protagonists straying from their original story lines and mayhem ensuing.
Of course, I'm going to have to stop there as to not reveal too many spoilers and ensure all hell doesn't break loose (trust me, I know how passionate musical theatre fans can be), but have no fear, my review continues.
As I've already hinted, this film really doesn't disappoint. When I discovered that Disney were going to tackle this project, I have to admit, I was getting a little worried. Were they going to completely ruin it and take away everything we know and love? The answer is no. Have no fear 'Into the Woods' fans, nothing is watered down or made more accessible to younger audiences (hence the PG rating), although there are admittedly a few minor alterations. For instance, in this particular adaptation, there is no person with the role of narrator. Instead, this job is done by James Corden as the Baker. Why? I'm not entirely sure. But in my opinion, this is probably for the better. In the stage production as narrator works brilliantly, however I'm not exactly sure how well this would translate to film, and could've very easily been executed poorly.
One thing you can definitely say the film had going for it was entertainment value. Not even kidding, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. From Johnny Depp as the wolf dressing as Little Red's granny, to Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen belting 'Agony' in a babbling brook, there was never a dull moment. Perhaps my favourite portrayal in the movie was by Emily Blunt, who wonderfully played the Baker's wife (which is a massive feat when in a movie alongside film veteran Meryl Streep). She managed to be both vulnerable and funny, and brought a subtlety to the role which worked exceptionally well on camera.
Overall, I am pleased to say this film was an overwhelming success. What would I be able to pinpoint as my favourite part of this flick? Chris Pine, hands down. He is seriously the best and most chauvinistic Prince Charming I've ever seen in my life (in the best, most comedic way possible). No, of course it wasn't perfect, but as far as stage-to-screen musical adaptations go, this is pretty much as good as it gets. Safe to say, I'll definitely be rooting for this flick at the 2015 Oscars.
Well that about sums it up for this musical-movie review. As I say, I highly suggest you purchase a movie ticket as soon as possible, and of course revel in the awesomeness that is 'Into the Woods'. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Til' next time . . .