Into the Woods: Film Review

INTO THE WOODS

I love a good musical and I love so many of the cast in this so I have been excited for a while and yes, it was good but it wasn’t AMAZING. And I really wanted amazing.

Emily Blunt and James Corden play a couple who are unable to have children due to a curse put on their house by a witch (Meryl Streep). To break the spell, they must find four items within the woods which puts them in touch with well-known fairytale characters like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Jack (and his Beanstalk).

Everybody seems to talk about this like its Meryl Streep leading the charge but for me the star was Emily Blunt. I had no idea she could sing that well and she is simply fabulous. Her character was the least annoying, the most human and also hilarious. Anna Kendrick’s singing was amazing too – her song On the Steps of the Palace stood out for me. I sometimes felt James Corden was out his depth with such singing forces.

INTO THE WOODS

On the opposite end of the scale, Chris Pine was simply bizarre – but intentionally so. He seemed to deliberately play his Prince Charming as a parody of all Disney princes that have come before. His mannerisms reminded me of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and he also put on a voice that I cannot place. It is hilarious and I couldn’t get through his scenes without cracking up. His song ‘Agony’ is BRILLIANT. Equally Johnny Depp’s turn as the Wolf is suitably creepy and bonkers.

This is an interesting take on the fairytale genre and even though this is for children, it is very dark and shows that things don’t going quite so happily after the ‘happily ever after’ we know well from stories. I would say a lot of these jokes will be more relevant to adults.

woods4

At first I was worried that the entire film would be sung like Les Miserables and thank God it didn’t, because I just cannot handle that. Having said that, besides the two I’ve mentioned, not many of the songs stand out to be because they sound very similar. There are no flashy dance-and-sing numbers and it is all sung in the same type of Broadway musical voice. So I did lose interest in the songs by the very end – which is not like me AT ALL.

I loved everything about it – from cast, setting, costumes, songs – until about 30 minutes from the end when it began to outstay its welcome. You assume when the couple find the items, things will be resolved and all will be well: the end. But there is a third act still to come, which feels unnecessary and you start to watch the clock. So definitely see it but be prepared!

 

Released 9th January

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