HOLLYWOOD—Are you fans of the musical genre? Well if not, you might find yourself somewhat surprised by the Disney musical “Into the Woods” that has some major star power. The film is directed by Rob Marshall who achieved critical acclaim with the 2003 musical “Chicago” which won multiple Academy Awards.
The movie was adapted by the widely popular Broadway musical. The fun of the movie is its ability to intertwine a slew of popular fairy tales including “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella” to name a few. The big stars of the flick are James Corden and Emily Blunt who star as The Baker and The Baker’s Wife. The couple is unable to conceive thanks to a curse placed on them by a Witch portrayed by Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. I mean is there anything that this woman can’t do.
There’s no argument why the actress could end up scoring her 19th Oscar-nomination this month for her work in the movie. Who knew Streep could belt out a tune or too! The bulk of the movie involves The Baker and his wife who embark on a journey to collect four items at the request of the Witch to have the curse lifted.
This works well in my opinion of incorporating all of those familiar fairytales for most of us into one movie. We get to see Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel and Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s prince. If we were to compare the caliber of voices, there is no denying the abilities of Blunt and Corden whose musical capabilities are astounding.
We had inklings that Blunt could sing, but she really showcases that talent to new heights with this movie. The same applies to Corden and Kendrick who have already showcased their talents to the world. The fun of “Into the Woods” is not necessarily the musical aspect, it’s the narrative. This is a movie that takes all of those classic tales you know and flips them on its head. We know how things end, the fairy tale, the happily ever after, what if things didn’t end the way you expected them to?
That’s what the audience gets to see here, the repercussions of their actions. It’s a lesson that is not only imprinted on adults, but to younger moviegoers as well. Marshall delivers a scenic atmosphere that does indeed bring the audience into the ‘Woods’ and the visual effects are just as impressive. I went into this movie thinking I wouldn’t really like it; but I found myself able to edit those musical mishaps to focus my attention on the narrative that is so enthralling and a treat to watch unfold.
“Into the Woods” not only reminds adults of their childhood memories, but it creates new memories for those classic fairytales by doing something not seen before: weaving them together in a way that works as it should have been done ages ago.