review: into the woods (2014)

I’ve always been in love with this musical since I watched it live as a child. I remember the magical feeling that swept through my entire body – what with all the overlapping fairytales and overall magical-ness. My favourite part about watching this musical live was the sound of all the different storylines overlapping one another as everyone sang their distinct narratives all at once. It gave me shivers. Unfortunately, I cannot say the film had the same effect.

Synopsis (IMDB): A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

WHAT I LIKED.

The sets.
I will applaud the set design for this film. The woods seemed absolutely magical, and while it obviously looked very “set-like” and fantastical, it held the perfect balance between real and magical to look authentic and believable, and to carry the story forward.

Daniel Huttlestone as Jack.
I fell in love with this little boy in Les Misérables (2012) as young Gavroche – and was definitely excited to see him in this musical-adapted film. I was definitely not disappointed. He just has this charm, with his accent, and with the dynamics in which he manipulates his voice and performance. I do hope he continues to improve and expand his horizons with different roles. I can’t wait to see what this kid does in the future, I hope he doesn’t fade away, because he is extremely talented.

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella.
Ok, so maybe her performance didn’t absolutely blow me away, but I did love the “realness” Anna Kendrick put into this role. Also – absolutely love how Cinderella wasn’t blonde. She seemed so much more authentic. Additionally, her vocal performance blew me away. I knew she could sing from Pitch Perfect, but had no idea she could belt it out like she did here!

WHAT I WAS ON THE FENCE ABOUT.

The princes.
So, Billy Magnussen was decent at Rapunzel’s prince, I didn’t mind him too much. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like Chris Pine as Cinderella’s prince at all. He definitely looked the part, but I couldn’t stand his performance in this. It was just SO overdone that it seemed almost amateur-ish. Like he was performing Into The Woods for a high school play or something. Additionally, their duo performance of “Agony” was no good… I mean, the performance itself was ok, but I couldn’t help but notice that as these two princes were frolicking in the water, THEY WEREN’T GETTING WET. They would splash around, and splash each other – but all their clothing and hair remained dry. It was just so off-putting.

The pacing.
This movie was too long. I just kept moving my mouse to the bottom of the screen to see how much time was left. But then again, I don’t know what they could have cut out.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE.

Johnny Depp as the wolf.
I am so sorry to say this, because I love Johnny Depp, but he was very disappointing as the wolf. I feel that in all his other characters, he brought something extra to the numerous distinct roles he had to play. There was a lot of artistry exhibited in his previous performances. In this however, I felt like he didn’t add anything new. It was sort of like his Mad Hatter character all over again, plus a few wolf growls and fur. Sorry Johnny.

The introduction “Into The Woods” song.
This was so underwhelming. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the most magical moment of this musical is when the characters from each storyline sing in unison, but narrate their separate stories into this beautiful medley of musical goodness. The musical editing in this didn’t create that magical effect, and I was found underwhelmed right at the start of the film

FINAL COMMENTS.

Not as magical as the live performance. I recommend going to see Into The Woods live.

just my rating: ★★★

Other reviews on Into The Woods (2014)
Chaotictrek – Into The Woods (2014)
mackenziesmountain – Into The Woods – a review
Madison Carswell – Movie Review: Into The Woods

Advertisements

show me your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s