So, Into The Woods isn’t your typical Disney production. It doesn’t follow the conventional fairytale progression where two conflicted protagonists fall in love amidst a battlefield of obstacles which they ultimately overcome thereafter living happily ever after.
But it’s not. It’s the story of how the baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), venture into the woods to collect a variety of items for the Witch (Meryl Streep).
This results in a clash of meta-fairy tale dimensions as the couple try to obtain the items from familiar characters like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and The Beanstalk, who just so happen to be in the woods too.
And that’s fine. I had no issues with the plot, or that the movie was poking fun at the classic fairytale. I just thought it this could have been done better, especially when it came to making the audience laugh.
Because that’s the point of satirical movies, right? To entertain viewers with wit and humour. Just like in a previous Disney movie Enchanted (2007), where Princess Giselle’s singing gathered colonies of roaches, rats and pigeons instead of squirrels, robins and other woodland animals.
Or when the audience LOL-ed in Shrek (2001) after the green giant refused to take his helmet off after rescuing Princess Fiona, citing helmet hair.
But in Into The Woods, there was just, well, a lot of singing. It was like watching a very well-made music video. But that’s not to say that the cast wasn’t good.
Johnny Depp played the perfect wolf. Conniving, sneaky and with just the right amount of slime. Enough to scare you, but not enough to make you want to throw up.
Another cast member with a stellar performance was Meryl Streep, who played a wonderful witch. The way she balanced the witch’s psycho, passive-aggressive persona was marvellous.
And though we’ve all heard her carry a tune as a lost-in-love single mom in Mamma Mia! (2008), hearing her sing as a deranged witch is much more captivating.
And then, there’s Christine Baranski, who plays Cinderella’s wicked stepmother.
So apart from the cast, and maybe the plot, the movie was, well, okay. Just wait for it to come out on cable. The only reason you should be paying to watch this in theatres is to keep your kids entertained while you nap in the dark.
Into The Woods opens in Singapore tomorrow. Let us know what you think of the movie!