I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Be warned before seeing this movie. It is a musical.
Into the Woods is a Disney, live-action, musical amalgamation of the Grimm Fairy Tales, some of which have already been done by Disney. The story weaves between Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk.
An interesting thing I was thinking about during this film was that Cinderella is about to be turned into a live-action movie later this year again by Disney. Hollywood once again showing its full range of creativity.
The whole thing is based on a Stephen Sondheim stage production and one can see its theatre origins occasionally in staging and dialogue which can be to the film’s detriment. But because it’s Sondheim, the man who brought us Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the songs are good. They are not quite on the level of some musicals, but they are reasonably catchy.
And the songs bring me onto my next point. They are sung excellently by the cast, some of whom strangely have American accents which I object, but in a recording studio prior to lip-synching on the film’s gorgeous sets and locations.
While the old lip-synching methods used since Singin’ in the Rain mean that the song is pitch-perfect, I find that the spontaneity of singing live on set, as done so well in Les Miserables, gave the singing extra dramatic weight that is hard to replicate when dubbing.
This dramatic weight would have leant itself to Into the Woods as it is a dramatic story. This doesn’t feel like a Disney film. In a good way. We’ve seen the clichés of “Happily Ever After” more times than we can count and this film’s third act challenges them by showing that actions have consequences. This won’t sit well with some people, but I loved it. I believe that this is a message that should be given to adults as well as children.
If you have young children, take them to Shaun the Sheep this month as Into the Woods can be a little scary, both in terms of its atmosphere and its message.
Recommended Scenario: When you realise that life is no fairy tale.
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.