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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Into the Woods movie review

Into the Woods is a slightly chaotic musical that retells several classic fairy tales with a whimsical twist. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, the Baker and his Wife, Jack and the Beanstalk and I want to say that even the witch, played by Meryl Streep, is from a special story.
Though I can't quite put my finger on it. Johnny Depp plays the devilishly clever Big Bad Wolf.
I have to admit, when I decided to see this pre screening, I was mainly interested in seeing the great Johnny Depp. He is my heart throb of course (can you blame me?). But sadly, his character doesn't last very long. And to think, he wasn't even vanquished by a hunter as the classic story would have you believe. Little Red Riding Hood is a bit of an annoying girl who cons bread and sweets from the Baker and his Wife. 
The Baker and his Wife live a simple life and long to have a child. For reasons unknown, they can't. Then one day, out of the blue, the witch next door pays them a visit and explains that they are cursed to never have children because the Bakers parents stole from her garden. She sets them out to fulfill a quest and retrieve special items for her. In return, she will regain her youth and beauty and thus recant the curse.  
Another story unfolds as we meet the lowly Cinderella who is slaving away for the cruel stepmother and her hideous daughters.
She has the gift of talking to birds and requesting their assistance. Let's face it, every Disney Princess has to have such a talent right? Even if it seems a little creepy... 
Rapunzel is the Bakers sister that has spent her life locked away in a tower, growing her hair out to be ridiculously long.
How did she get up there if there are no doors? Just saying... But a prince falls in love with her and will not rest until she is his bride.
He is the brother of Prince Charming who is in love with Cinderella because she keeps running away from him. But is she really what he wants? And does she really want to be a prized trophy princess? 
Then there's Jack. Poor boy is a simpleton with a single mother that can't provide.
He traded his cow for beans, climbed the beanstalk that grew from the beans, and stole from the Giants up in the clouds with the hopes of buying back his beloved cow. But what if he met the cunning Little Red Riding Hood? What if the beans came from the Baker and Wife? What happens when the witch needs the cow but it died? So many twists. Then the giant is killed, but he had a wife who now wants revenge. Who should pay the price of vengeance? 
The end brings a tie to each story. Every character gets to follow a path of their choosing. It was cleverly devised by the writers. There were definitely parts that could've been better. Again, I wasn't into it as much being that it was a musical. I was sad that the Wolf (Johnny Depp) still died and by the hands of a squeamish baker, no less. It was family friendly. It taught values of working together, especially when you're a married couple. Don't cheat on your spouse, you'll end up falling from a cliff right after while he rides off to find his happiness. Don't steal from bakers and listen to wolves, you'll end up waiting for that baker to cut you from a swollen belly. Better hope he's merciful. 
It's fun, with its comical moments. 

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