Into The Woods
Could there be more of a buzz around the opening of Into the Woods?! For weeks, nay MONTHS now my social media feeds have been awash with squealing stageys posting teasers, trailers, photos and clips of the latest collaboration between Disney and MT god Sondheim.
Earlier this week I was invited to go to a preview screening of the flick which I was super excited about because a) I have never been to a film preview before and I felt well important and b) I am a secret squealy stagey (who has a burning urge to play the Bakers Wife one day just in case any casting people are reading this just sayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying….)
And you know what? I bloody loved it. For those of you unfamiliar with the stage show Into the Woods is a clever mash-up of various different fairytales, each character journeying ‘Into the Woods’ to find or discover something along the way, and culminates in an examination of what happens after ‘happily ever after’. It’s actually jolly dark, and though that has perhaps been dulled down slightly in the jump from stage to screen, there’s still an awful lot that I was expecting to be Disneyfied that remains pleasantly sinister. The stepsisters still hack off bits of their feet to wedge the slipper on so it fits, they get their eyes pecked out by Cinderella’s birds, people die, commit adultery and Johnny Depp does a wonderful turn as the predatory wolf, desperate to get his hands on the flesh of the little girl.
Other highlights include Emily Blunt’s Bakers Wife, played with delightfully subtle humour and wit, Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen’s wonderfully arrogant and dramatic duet ‘Agony’, played in proper boyband style on top of a cascading waterfall, Anna Kendrick giving it some sass ‘On The Steps of the Palace’ and of course, Meryl in reliably good form as the Witch.
Something that really did bug me more than I thought it would however, were the different accents. Some of the cast use British accents, whilst others twang away in American. I suppose that being set in a fairytale kingdom no accent is the ‘right’ one, but it is jarring and inconsistent to the ear and toys with the rhythm of the piece. The film has also been criticised for it’s many narratives, and the way in which it jumps about from one story to the next, but given that I have the attention span of a spoon I actually quite liked that. And it looks GREAT, the design is dreary and dark with flashes of colour (p.s if Topshop could make a copy of Red Riding Hood’s cape that would be excellent. Bitch got style yo.) Whilst the singing itself rarely blew me away, it was more than capably executed.
All in all I LIKED IT A LOT! Into the Woods? Into the GOODs more like!
p.s I wish… x
Many thanks to Laughing Buddha for organising preview tickets.