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About Me:Hi I’m Nadege and I study French at the University of Leeds, and I have just completed my third year abroad in Montpellier studying literature and enjoying the sunshine! I love art; painting and being creative, as well as photography and baking. Travelling is my favourite hobby at the moment; experiencing the French language and culture. I hope you enjoy reading some of my articles!
The Disney fairytale musical Into the Woods is a film which is not only targeted for children, but a film suitable for all ages. It is impossible to not recognise the ensemble of famous actors. The cast includes: Meryl Streep playing the witch, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, James Corden as the baker, Johnny Depp as the big, bad wolf, and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. The film is based on Stephen Sondheim’s stage show but has been adapted with an added comical tone, and also the mashup of fairytales have a slight sinister twist to them. However, for children, what more could you ask for than to have all the best-known fairytales in one film! The combination of fairytales includes Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.
The plot, briefly described, is about a witch who explains to a childless baker and his wife that the reason why they cannot have a child is because of her curse on the couple. Consequently, the only way the curse can be reversed is by journeying into the woods, with the task to collect four items in just three days. On their journey they must collect a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold which you may realise manages to incorporate each fairytale.
Musical fans will find this film hard to resist, as each actor delivers an amazing vocal performance. Additionally, there is not one actor that has overall dominance in the film, which demonstrates the talent of the entire cast. However, my criticism towards the film is that because the fairytales are all interlinked without a main storyline, the plot lacks continuity. Also, having numerous fairytales in one film comes at the expense of character development. Each fairytale begins and ends rather quickly and the direction of the film is lost due to this. Additionally, the film is 2 hours, which for a child is a long film to sit through and at one point; the film comes abruptly to the ‘living happily ever after’ moment, yet continues with a darker, more sinister tone.
In my opinion, I think that the film should be less dark, and aimed more directly at children. This way, there would be less disappointment for the older audience. Having said this, the concept of the film is brilliant, and it has made a significant impact with takings of $173.4million at the box office. It is a clever take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytales, presented with a modern twist and Into the Woods demonstrates that teamwork is valued, shows the responsibility of parenthood and shows you should never journey alone into the woods. It is a film both children and adults can enjoy for different reasons, with outstanding performances from star actors, yet the disjointed plot has spawned much criticism.
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