Into The Woods | Movie Review

2014
Directed: Rob Marshall
Screenplay: James Lapine
Music: Stephen Sondheim

I adore fairy tales and I adore musicals and I also like a lot of people in this cast, so I have been waiting for this movie for quite a long time and it is safe to say that I had pretty high expectations. And this film pretty much lived up to them all. I adored all the different intertwining story lines and I really enjoyed seeing some of my favourite fairy tales, but with a totally modern twist. I really enjoyed the darker tone to this film but I also loved the dashes of humour that were injected by James Corden and Emily Blunt as the Baker and his wife. I think that my favourite story line would have to be Rapunzel’s – for reasons that I can’t really explain, I just loved the romance between her and one of the two princes in this film. I also really enjoyed the musical aspect, and a couple of the songs really lodged themselves in my head. I think that the costumes and sets were superb and even though the plot sort of ran away with itself at the end, I still really enjoyed this movie.

This drama-adventure-musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel which are all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife. The Baker and his Wife wish for a child, but they soon find out that there lies a family curse and they can’t have any children until they find multiple things for the witch that cursed them in the first place. A cow as white as milk; a cape as red as blood; hair the colour of corn and a shoe of solid gold. And their quest for these items leads them down a path that they never saw coming. But what about after the happily ever afters? Is Cinderella really happy with the Prince? And how will the Troll’s wife re-act to her husband’s death and the loss of her belongings? These events will throw the Kingdoms into chaos and the Baker, his wife and their new found friends and allies must stop their lives from being destroyed and attempt to save everything they love.

Something that I wasn’t expecting with this film was the immense humour that came with. I suppose that with James Corden as part of the cast, there was bound to be some laughs – but this film is hilarious. I adored the chemistry that James Corden and Emily Blunt had together as the Baker and his wife, and I found their relationship really heart-warming and lovely. I thought that all the characters were really well-crafted, and I really enjoyed the first-half of the film and seeing the fairy-tales that I know and love, slightly twisted. I adored Rapunzel’s character, and thanks to this film, Rapunzel has gone up in my book. I only wish that we had seen more of her romance with the Prince, as I am a sucker for a fairy-tale romance. I’ve never been that big a fan of Little Red Riding Hood, but I found her character really spunky and fun to watch. Likewise, I’ve never felt that connected to Jack and the Beanstalk but I still found his character entertaining. I enjoyed Cinderella although I thought that she got a little annoying at times. I really enjoyed the character of the Witch and I thought that she was a great baddie, with real motives behind what she was doing.

As I said, I thought that the first half of the film was amazing, and I was really looking forward to seeing what happened after the happily ever afters. And for the most part I enjoyed it. I just don’t think that the Jack and the Beanstalk storyline clicked with me, and after hiding in the dark woods for twenty minutes, it got a little boring. I really enjoyed seeing where the characters ended up, and I loved seeing some of the characters fates: Prince Charming being a tool and Little Red Riding Hood getting a wolf-fur cloak. (Although why did the Prince have to cheat on Rapunzel? Come on, man!) I thought the plot spiraled away a little bit and consequently, skipped over the deaths that were really quite shocking to come out of a Disney movie. I really adored the music and even though none were stuck in my head 24/7 like I expected, they were all really endearing. I loved seeing all these actors that I loved bursting into song and I especially give Emily Blunt points for singing in this movie.

Overall, I adored this movie. I loved the characters and their storylines and personalities, and even though the second half let the side down slightly, I’m going to pretend that it never existed. If you are looking for a great movie filled with humour and wit and action and some great performances and costumes, then I would definitely give this film a shot.

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