Into the Woods

2014-12-31 11:49
What's it about:

A modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family, and their interaction with the witch who put a curse on them.

What we thought:

Be careful what you wish for, warns the trailer. And boy, was this movie everything I wished for and more!

From the onset this musical to film adaption has been getting a lot of press. As expected when any great musical leaves the confines of stage to hit the big screen there are the naysayers. Not having the privilege of seeing the stage production I was hooked from the moment I saw the first trailer and pictures.

Fairytales and musicals are after all amongst my favourite things. It didn’t take long for me to get swept away into the woods.

Into The Woods combines all the favourite childhood classics: Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) and a wicked witch (Meryl Streep) and a new tale about a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) which effortlessly ties it all together.

The childless baker and his wife learn that a curse has been placed upon their house by the wicked witch. In order to break the curse the pair has to enter the enchanted forest and collect four items. While searching for these items they come across Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and Rapunzel.

In the first half of the film the plots surrounding the central characters stay true to the original fairytales. And yes everyone has a happy ending but not for the long. The second half is filled with twists and turns that keep you at the edge of your seat. The tone of the second part of the film is dark and bleak which could be a bit depressing for the very young. Parental discretion advised.

I was pleasantly surprised that although the movie is in essence a musical there is also a lot of dialogue. It’s witty and humourous in parts and sober and reflective in others.

The all star cast cannot be faulted. The standout performances are Blunt, Kendrick and Cordon. Their characters and their plights were believable.

But the star of the show is without a doubt the music. I was blown away by Emily Blunt’s voice. Chris Pine (Prince Charming) and Billy Magnussen (Rapunzel’s Prince) do a cheesy chest baring duet that had us burst out in laughter.
The song that hit me straight in the gut is the duet by Kendrick and Cordon, No One Is Alone. The vocals and the lyrics will have you tearing up.

And like any fairy tale and Disney story there are always lessons to be learnt. Themes of grief, abandonment and love are explored. And sometimes what we wish for doesn’t turn out how we expect it to be.  But more importantly while fantasy is always a nice place to escape to reality awaits when the story ends. And the film concludes on that note.

Into The Woods is a fantastic start to the cinema calendar! From the soul stirring singing, the all star cast and the amazing set and costumes this is an absolute must-see.

James Matoma 2015/01/02 12:48 PM
Leandra? Are you serious? This is a truly teerible peice of rubbish! Nothing original. Boring, with bad acting. Not worth seeing at all. Hollywood has run out of ideas years ago.
Rue Noir 2015/01/02 1:10 PM
I Just Love Fairy Tales. What Made The Authors Write This Modern Day, Modern Princess Fairy Tale? It Sounds Good.
Kim 2015/01/06 4:01 PM
The movie was rubbish.... it went on and on and on, actually thought the pain wasn't going to stop. Not worth the money
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