Disney’s “Into the Woods” delivers a fresh take on the classic fairy tale musical, featuring songs which range from chipper to melancholy, and a slew of A-list actors.
“Into the Woods” is based on the musical play composed by Stephen Sondheim and written by James Lapine, who is also the screenwriter for the movie.
The movie brilliantly intertwines different Grimm Brothers fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
The director of the film is Rob Marshall and the cast includes Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp.
When a baker and his wife discover a witch has placed a curse on their family, which bans them from having children, they must collect four items to lift the curse: the cape as red as blood, the cow as white as snow, the hair as yellow as corn and the shoes as pure as gold.
The journey to find these items results in unexpected adventures, such as rescuing a girl from a wolf, giving a boy magic beans that turn into a beanstalk and stealing locks of Rapunzel’s long hair.
One of the best and funniest parts of the film features the song “Agony,” with Pine and Billy Magnussen wallowing over their respective loves and how the women elude them. The scene pokes fun at the “Prince Charming” archetype and the melodrama of fairy tales.
A main theme in the film is to be careful what you wish for. Once all the characters get what they want, it seems the movie will end. But everything changes and the characters realize their wishes may not have been what they wanted in the first place. Happily ever after? Not so much.
Streep gives a chilling performance in “The Last Midnight,” a song scolding the characters for foolishness. The witch sings, “You’re not good, you’re not bad. You’re just nice … I’m the witch, you’re the world.”
The movie was somewhat snubbed from the Academy Awards, earning only one nomination: Actress in a Supporting Role for Meryl Streep. However, the movie was generally given favorable reviews and earned a 71 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Even though the film cut several songs and plot-twists included in the musical, “Into the Woods” is entertaining and thoughtful and definitely worth watching. TAS