Release Date (UK): 9th January 2015
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt,
James Corden, Anna
Kendrick, Chris Pine,
Duration Time: 125 minutes
Based off the hit musical, "Into The Woods" tells the tale of a number of fairytales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel. A baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) live in a village, next door to the Wicked Witch (Meryl Streep). They long to have a child but soon find out after a visit from the witch that there was a curse placed on their house which means the couple are unable to produce children. The curse was placed after the baker's father was spotted one night stealing 6 "magic" beans from the witch's garden, which meant a curse was placed on the witch meaning she was cursed with ugly looks after being warned by her mother not to let the beans be stolen. In return, she placed a curse on the baker's house, and once born, took the child the baker's mother was pregnant with at the time - Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). There is, however, a chance to reverse the curse which the witch explains to both the baker and his wife. By midnight in three days time, the pair must have collected several items for the witch - "the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold". The baker sets off into the woods to acquire these items, and this is where the characters from the other fairytales come into play. Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) is sent to the baker's village by his mother (Tracey Ullman) to sell the cow as she has not produced milk for a very long time. Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) is in the woods visiting her Grandmother, and obviously owns the red cape the baker has set off to find. Rapunzel with her long hair as "yellow as corn" is being kept in a tower in the woods by the witch and has been for her whole life. Finally, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) owns the slipper which the baker requires and is passing through the woods one night whilst running from Prince Charming and the festival she so sneakily attended, without her stepmother's permission. Chris Pine and Johnny Depp play Prince Charming and the Wolf respectively.
For such a long film (for a PG rating, anyway), it seemed to fly over so quickly which is what I like about films, unless I really don't want them to end! I have such a weak bladder system and so every time I go to the cinema I end up needing to use the bathroom before the trailers even finish - despite having just been half an hour prior to this. It was exactly the same with this film BUT the film distracted my thoughts and I forgot I even needed to use the bathroom..weird, huh? However, I have read quite a few negative reviews about this film but most of the negative comments were regarding the duration time and the fact that the film has two "Happy Ever After"s, one of which was just halfway through the film.
Usually, I'm not a huge fan of musicals (besides Grease, Annie and Hairspray) but after seeing this musical, I am utterly obsessed and it made me realise just how great musicals truly are. There is an element of fun to musicals that many other films do not seem to contain, with all the feel good music and dancing. I have to say, however, this musical was a little different to your average musical. I'd say about 80% of the film was music but it wasn't the cheesy kind where everybody just bursts into song and dance. The music was used to tell majority of the story. I have been completely in love with the soundtrack for this film for the past week and you only have to look at my Spotify account to know that. My favourite songs from this musical have to be "Your Fault", "No One Is Alone" and the music used in the prologue for the film. Nobody understands how obsessed I really am!
Rob Marshall, the director, who directed both Annie and Chicago - two of the greatest musicals in my opinion - did a great job on this musical, or so I thought at least. I know this musical is based off the Broadway musical which had it's debut in the '80s but this was the first I'd heard of it, and I thought the plot was terrific. The way that the four fairytales all seem to link together is so cleverly thought up and I thought the musical was directed in a very modern way.
The acting ability in this musical is incredible. Meryl Streep blew me away acting as the witch and I honestly believe she is amazing so I really was excited to see her in this film. I thought the child actors - Daniel Huttlestone and Lilla Crawford - in this film were amazing. It truly has been ages since I have seen such amazing performances from such young actors. I was a bit sceptical at first after hearing James Corden was amongst the stars of this film as I absolutely love James Corden as a comedian and what-not but I hadn't seen him act in anything prior to this except those few episodes of "Gavin and Stacey". I have to say, his performance was as incredible as the rest and I think he suited the role of the baker perfectly. Emily Blunt who played the baker's wife was also brilliant. I've seen her in several different roles now but I hadn't seen her play in a role like this so to me, her role was very interesting and I think she pulled it off wonderfully. Moving on to Anna Kendrick who plays Cinderella and whom I thought played the part magnificently. I have seen Anna in quite a few roles previous to this one, including her role in the 2012 musical "Pitch Perfect" (which, by the way, I am sososo excited for "Pitch Perfect 2" out later this year!) so I knew what to expect from her in this musical and she did not let me down. She is not how I pictured Cinderella to be like but I think she pulled off the part so beautifully and when I found out she was playing Cinderella in the film adaptation I was beyond excited. Unfortunately, we do not see an awful lot of Chris Pine or Johnny Depp in their roles which I was a bit disappointed about because I love Johnny Depp and his part of the big bad wolf was only part of the musical for about 2 minutes. However, overall the acting was outstanding.
Overall, I rate this film a 4/5.
P.S. I really hope you enjoyed my first ever film review, I really enjoyed writing it and I just know that this is something I am going to enjoy doing with my spare time as I really am an avid film watcher and book reader. I'd love to know your feedback in the comments below! Have a great day. X