Movie Review: Into The Woods

*spoilers maybe?*

Into The Woods was an amazing movie — it was absolutely wonderful, grounded in reality fantastically. It had a somewhat bitter end maybe, but that aspect of the production just reflected life so brilliantly.

There were many great moments throughout, both deep and not so. The way the characters were portrayed made them more grounded in reality as they were all less like fairy tale personalities, but more substantially authentic and tangible as people. The movie fundamentally threw out the generic portrayals of all these familiar characters and made them more gritty, which is certainly seen through the Baker’s Wife, whose firm resolve is to remove the curse and get with child, caring not who she would step on to get what she wants.

These traditional characters do not take up their expected mantles conventionally in their respective fairy tales and it is a completely refreshing take on everything and everyone.

In most of the typical fairy tales, the princes are these wonderfully unattainable man-forms, with crazy good looks and charm. It is also assumed that they are very sincere in their devotions. However, in this movie, Cinderella’s prince is far from that, as he is a flirt and seducer of women, even when he is already married. The Baker, on the other hand, is breathtakingly loyal, and this makes him so much more endearing as a man; he subtracted points from the prince’s manly quotient through his way of handling responsibility, his kindness, and his tact.

The Witch, instead of inflicting plain cruelty and pure heartlessness, appeals sympathy; she is neither good nor bad, as her life and emotions are poured out over the course of the whole movie. The same goes for the other main characters, as they struggle to reach their dreams and wishes. Save for a few, most of the characters were multifaceted and three-dimensional, offering up a lot of complexities to their persons.

Another facet of the movie that resonated really well was the organic way in which all the characters somehow meet one another in the woods. There were no forced meetings and every single one of them fed off of something from one character to another, which helped tie all of their stories together in a sophisticated manner.

The thoughtful consideration towards all of the characters’ idiosyncrasies really made this a very intelligent movie to watch — all of the characters had an important role that helped move the plot along — especially with its very grounded ending, which basically communicated the following idea:

“You can wish for all the jewels in the world — wanting and yearning for so much more — but life will only ever give you what is truly right for you. No more, no less.”

All in all, it was a great movie musical adaptation, with great actors who did their characters justice. The visuals, along with the great soundtrack and vocals, helped along the plot and made it an amazingly elevated experience.

Oh! One more thing. Everything was flawless (not so for some maybe, but quite so for this reviewer); one very entertaining moment in the movie was when the two princes ran into each other in the woods and sang “Agony” together in true bromance fashion. Both were so extremely engrossed and full of themselves that their musical performance brought on much hilarity by the way they acted.

I just absolutely loved the movie and everyone in it.

Chris Pine’s performance in his princes-duet song was surprisingly good, to say the least, and shocked me quite a bit. Meryl Streep, in all her witchy glory, gave a wonderful performance. Emily Blunt’s Baker’s Wife and James Corden’s Baker made such an endearing pair. Anna Kendrick was as pitch perfect as ever. The two children, Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone, gave really charmingly impressive performances at their young ages. Christine Baranski’s evil stepmother portrayal was great to watch, especially the shifting nuances on her face to portray her disbelief, then acceptance of defeat when Cinderella is taken away by the prince as his true bride.

Johnny Depp’s very brief screen presence as the wolf, despite what some say, did not detract from the movie for me, but just added to the idea that in life, people will fleetingly meet wolves who will eventually take their leave. Not necessarily through their deaths, of course.

Oh, I know I’ve failed to mention some actors, but these were some of the characters I mainly focused on.

On a totally different vein from the movie, yet related in a way, after-a-movie-has-just-finished-restroom-lines can be nuisances, especially if the line is really long and a woman who is in a stall is audibly texting furiously, despite the really long line outside. It is pure agony as one stands there holding it all in, while berating oneself for having drank two bottles of drinks (one bottled milk tea and one bottle of water). But I now understand the presence of toilet music. It may not be as much help, but on some level, it is soothing and calming. It lessens the urge to do something stupid due to annoyance.

To note, I actually wrote most of this on my way home after the movie ended, because I was just completely overjoyed by having watched it. I just couldn’t help myself.

Soundtrack stuck in my head now…*hums “Into The Woods”*…

It was truly inspirational.

Also, I discovered a side of my iPod I never was aware of on my way home…


Anything But A Memory by Chasing Change

Very bittersweet lyrics, this song has.

Irresistible by Wisin & Yande

Don’t really understand Spanish, but the beat was nice. I should probably read up the English translation of the Spanish letras.

In retrospect, the movie had more of a bittersweet end that closed all the lose ends of the film, yet opened up possibilities for all the remaining characters, as they move on in their lives despite all their loses.

Growth is truly at the core of this movie.


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