Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, comes the much-anticipated Into the Woods. Be careful what you wish for – the resounding theme for this musical featurette with a fairy-tale twist.
With an abundance of singing that makes up most of the dialogue in the film, this movie won’t be to everyone’s liking. Although it boasts the typical Broadway dramatics, there is a dash of humour and witty lyrics that make it worthwhile.
The legendary Meryl Streep stars as the wicked witch of the woods who casts a childless-curse on a baker and his wife. This peasant couple seem to bring the cast of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales together when they’re tasked with collecting four magical items to unbreak their terrible curse, and be able to have a child. The baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), who unfortunately merits no name, have the misfortune of having to take something from the beloved characters that include Red Riding Hood, Jack from the beanstalk, Cinderella (who in this story has gold shoes and brown hair), and Rapunzel.
The cast surely hit the right notes with every word sung, but the fact that little conversation happens without a melody is a bit overwhelming – especially when the movie is 124 min long.
But, I was impressed with the witty lines and the twists on the characters we thought we knew. There seems to be more than the clock striking twelve, and every wish seems to be different to what they expected.
A short cameo by Johnny Depp was great, but he should’ve stayed alive a bit longer – except we all know how red riding hood goes.The mix of British and American accents was interesting, but not as weird as some of the plot twists and that, given its name, nearly the entire film was shot in the woods (and always at night, which is strange).
Regardless, if you have a flair for theatre and enjoy musicals on screen then you will surely love this movie. But if high pitched harmonies are not your thing then rather watch something else.