A week back I went and saw the movie, Into The Woods. Upon seeing the previews I was very excited. The movie contained great actors that I enjoy plus it was a musical, what a perfect combo! Now, I have not seen the play or read it so this is a simple review of the film and what I experienced as the story unfolded. **POSSIBLE SPOILERS**
Into The Woods was written by Stephen Sondhem and James Lapine. The story focuses on several fairy tales characters: Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Bakery and his Wife, Jack and the Beanstalk, and a witch. Each character has a “wish” and each character has an item that all are related in some way or another. So obviously the characters cross paths and interact heavily.
The movie as a whole was interesting and I can not quite decide if I actually enjoyed it or not. Due to the fact that it was originally a broadway musical the movie was quite long, not Les Miserables long but I was wondering when it was going to end. Going in I knew that Disney had produced the film and was excited to see that magical charm however, the movie was lacking in that “ah” Disney experience. As the singing began, I myself felt it to be a little flat in response to it. I understand the musical singing style that it would not be like Hair Spray but I wondered why does this singing sound familiar. Then it dawned on me, Stephen Sondhem did the music for Sweeney Todd! No wonder it sounded similar. There were honestly only two songs that I enjoyed and unsurprisingly it was Meryl Streep’s and Johnny Depp’s. I will say that I do enjoy Anna Kendrick, thanks to Pitch Perfect, but her singing in Into The Woods was very well done, that girl has talent.
More importantly, let me explain as to why I am blogging about this film when I haven’t read the play. As the film continued and I thought it was coming to an end, but it wasn’t, the film took an interesting turn. Instead of a generic happily ever after,” each main character lost something of value to them. Whether it be death, rejection of love, or a physical item lost I found this concept very interesting. From a literary standpoint the woods symbolize many things. From my interpretation, the woods, at the beginning, represented opportunity, obstacles to face, character “equality,” but also unknown outcome, and temptation.
Woods gave possibility to every “wish” that was produced and allowed that “happily ever after.” However, the Woods were both negative and positive because with the completion of that “happily ever after” something was removed that corrupted it. This moment hit me when Chris Pine’s character, Prince Charming, hit on the baker’s wife and the wife responded positively to his forward actions. Literally my jaw dropped and I was like WHAT THE…IT ALL MAKES SENSE!
So what I can say for now is that I loved the deeper literary symbolism however for the movie in general Meryl Streep nailed it, like I knew she would, but left a little bored with the film overall.
But don’t let me steer you in not watching it, go check it out for yourself!
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