Into the woods is the film adaptation of the popular theatrical musical. It tells the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Streep) who are trying to collect a series of objects in the woods so that a witch (Meryl Streep) will lift the curse she put on the baker so that he wouldn’t be able to have children. On their adventure they cross paths with Little Red Ridding Hood (Lilla Crawford) who is on her way to her granny’s house, Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) who exchanges his cow for five magical beans and Cinderella (Anna Kendrik) who is trying to get to the royal festival.
The performances all through the film are entertaining. After watching it… no wonder Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Oscar. She has such a powerful presence in all of the films she is in, but there is just something about her in this film that makes her stand out even more. It is probably the fact that her voice recreates the persona of the witch so well. Once again, Anna Kendrik who plays Cinderella has confirmed that her voice is supreme and full of emotion. Due to the fact that this production is a musical I was pleasently surprised by Emily Blunt and Chris Pines’ performances. Blunt’s voice is great and allthough Chris Pine isn’t a great singer he conveys a lot about his Prince Charming character with his voice.
This film has a trully wonderful soundtrack, full of catchy songs with great lyrics that tell the story. I found that Into the woods is a metaphor. The woods is life. The songs tell a story in which the woods can be messy but a place where wonderful things can happen. It also creates the “woods” as a place where someone is never alone, a place where there is always so much to discover and learn. I think the cinematography is brilliant and recreates this “the woods is a metaphor for life” really well. The film has all kinds of tones: dark and creepy, sad, comical, bright… The costumes and the make-up are also very elaborate.
I also found that Into the woods, if watched with an open mind, can give important life lessons. The storyline of Little Red Riding Hood not taking her mother’s advice and straying from the path and running into the wolf shows her that we can always learn from our mistakes, even the worst of situations. The storyline of Jack going up the beanstalk and discovering a land of giants teaches him that by going faraway from home can sometimes make you appreciate the little things a little more. The storyline of Cinderella running away from her prince night after night shows her that you can’t always keep running, at some point you will have to make a decision. It also shows her that people aren’t always as they seem and that they can let you down. Things don’t always turn out as they should, life can be unexpected, you never know what is waiting for you around the corner.
All in all, I think Into the woods has to be my favourite films out of all the ones I have watched this winter. For me it has it all: great songs, brilliant performances and a meaningful plot. If you want to have some fun and you are still in time to go and watch it at the cinema… you should. I wrote a review about it a few months ago for class and I was not disappointed. It reached all my expectations.
And remember to always be careful about what you wish for: what you wish for won’t always be everything that you hoped it would be.