Title: Into the Woods
Running Time: 125 min
Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine
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.
I’m a broadway musical/show tunes lover, so I’m always on Pandora or Spotify looking for new musicals to listen to. One day, I’m listening to Pandora like I always am when I’m studying, and all of a sudden I hear “Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom”, and from that moment I just knew that Into the Woods was my newest musical obsession.
I’ve been waiting for this movie for so long. Ever since there were rumors for it to be released came out, I’ve been obsessed. Since I hadn’t seen the original musical, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was expecting a whole lot.
Now, I wouldn’t say this movie was particularly bad, because it’s not. It’s just… not at all what I expected. I thought this would be a movie blending different classic fairy tales, and making them come together seamlessly, but it seemed something much different.
The storyline of the movie is rather frantic and spotty. Everything seems to be going on at the same time, which means you have to be extra observant and attentive to what you’re watching. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that the movie itself tried to throw the viewers out of the loop by convoluting all the major plot lines. This movie wanted to deceive you and play clever, which it sometimes did and sometimes did not.
To be honest this movie was a solid 4 star until it reached the last act. That very last act threw everything out of perspective and ripped any enjoyment I may have felt for it at first. All the character development? Gone. Plot elements that had resolved themselves? Not anymore. Everything felt as if there were extra drama added to the mix “just because”.
I will not lie, though. I loved every single character in this movie, except maybe Chris Pine’s Prince Charming because, he was a bit too Charming, something that came off as fake and overacted in comparison with Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella or Daniel Huttlestone’s Jack. This movie was amazingly casted; I was surprised at James Corden and Emily Blunt’s characters (Baker & Baker’s Wife) specifically because I had no idea they sang so well. Meryl Streep of course did an awesome job as the witch; she definitely brought that aura of malice, and magic the movie needed. (Do not ask me about Johnny Depp. I’m still trying to bleach my brain to forget his part in the movie. It was super creepy)
I also loved the music. I left the theater and immediately went to iTunes to hear the soundtrack again. I think the music is brilliantly produced and all the voices really shine. I find myself still humming the tunes because they’re so damn catchy.
The setting is beautiful. Forget crappy CGI and unbelievable green screen; Disney always goes above and beyond with settings and this movie was no different.
Overall, the movie does succeed in promoting the message be careful what you wish for, and has a brilliant soundtrack, wonderful acting, and breathtaking cinematography. However in its effort to out-clever and confuse the spectators, it convolutes the storyline to the point where it’s difficult to follow and will leave you at the end of the movie thinking “what did I just see?”.
**Note, I’ve been told that the original play isn’t much different, so I guess I wouldn’t enjoy that one much, either.