“Into the Woods” takes a new spin on fairy-tale plots

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Into the Woods is a musical.  So, if you do not like musicals, then this movie is not for you. There is absolutely no talking in this movie. The singing is amazing and the actors do a fantastic job at portraying their fairy-tale character.

Into the Woods is a little dark and might be confusing to younger children who know these fairy-tales – from a child’s perspective. There are four stories/fairy-tales that come together: Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and the Baker and his Wife. They all wish that their lives were different … better. Then, a witch, needing a cow as white as milk, a slipper of gold, hair as yellow as corn, and a blood red cape, for a spell, goes to the Baker and his wife. They cannot have kids because of a curse the witch cast upon the Baker’s house. Because there is a Blue Moon that needs to appear in order for the spell to work, she has waited to uncast the spell. This is the witch’s moment.

Meryl Streep plays the witch, and does it well. Who knew she could sing? Anna Kendrick plays Cinderella. While she’s very different from Becca in Pitch Perfect, she’s still a stunning singer all the same. Her portrayal of Cinderella is a piece of art – Anna Kendrick, and only Anna Kendrick, can play this part. Emily Blunt plays the Baker’s wife. Again, who knew she could sing? She is an 11 out of 10. She really acted as if it was her child on the line while she races against time to retrieve the ingredients. James Corden plays the Baker. He is funny and convincing. Lilla Crawford plays Little Red Riding Hood; she is sweet, funny and very much acts her age. She portrays the role of Riding Hood in a very comfortable and calm way. Daniel Huttlestone plays Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk. He acts his age – as he is fascinated by the “giants in the sky” and fighting with Riding Hood. His singing is amazing as well. Chris Pine plays Cinderella’s prince and Johnny Depp is the Big Bad Wolf. They both did a fantastic job at portraying their part. While the movie producers stay close to the original fairy tale storyline, they sometimes digress. For example, (spoiler alert!) Chris Pine’s character does something that we would not usually think of a Disney based prince would do – he actually cheats on Cinderella!

The storyline (and movie itself) is a bit long. When you think it is over, it isn’t (trust me, you will know what I’m talking about when you get to the part). While it is predictable for the first hour, things change – dramatically. The storyline has us raising eyebrows at scenes we never saw coming. Lighting, the angles shot, and the way the movie was directed were all great!

Even though the movie is a little dark Into the Woods is 2 hours and 4 minutes of fun, and, of course, singing.