The One With Into The Woods – A Fairytale Unlike Any Other

To say I have been anticipating this film adaption of the Broadway musical “Into The Woods” would be an giant understatement. Since the first time I saw an excerpt of “Into The Woods” on TV during the 1988 Tony Awards, I was hooked. The incredible score by Stephen Sondheim, loaded with innovative chords and unconventional melodies, took my breath away, and I was utterly entranced by the refreshing, original story.

Into The Woods - Movie Review

I’m glad that the film stayed true to both these aspects. The tale centred on a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), and weaved in familiar fairytales – “Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and the Beanstalk”, “Little Red Riding Hood” (Lilla Crawford), “Rapunzel” (Mackenzie Mauzy), “Cinderella” (Anna Kendrick).

Into The Woods - Movie Review

A witch (Meryl Streep) offered to break the “childless” curse she cast on the house (she had her own agenda) and instructed the couple to collect “the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold”. The plot thickened when the characters went into the woods, and they soon discovered how far they would go (lying, cheating, stealing, etc.) to fulfill their wishes.

Into The Woods - Movie Review

While most of us grew up accepting that fairytales end with “happy ever after”, the story pushed beyond that. I won’t spoil it for those who have not watched the musical, except to say things turned pretty bleak. Perhaps I am biased, but I felt that some of the magic was lost in the translation from theatre to film, although director Rob Marshall did a great job.

Into The Woods - Movie Review

Visually, the film was stunning, and the ensemble cast, which also included Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen hamming it up as Princes Charming, was committed and fun to watch (with the exception of the redundant Johnny Depp which could have been replaced with an animated wolf). This was an easy film to enjoy, but those still living in fairytale land might get a rude awakening.

Into The Woods - Movie Review

WATCH: The trailer of “Into The Woods”

“Into The Woods” is in Hong Kong cinemas beginning January 15, 2015.

The One With Into The Woods - A Fairytale Unlike Any Other by

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