January 08, 2015

Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Country: USA

Movie Review: Experienced filmmaker, Rob Marshall, directs this watchable but limited cinematic adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical for Walt Disney Studios. Written for the screen by James Lapine, “Into the Woods” starts with an invigorating energy, expressive tunes, and a confident strength, just to let these attributes fade away as the second act arrives. Marshall’s fantasy musical articulates several fairy tales by the Grimm brothers: “Cinderella”, “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rapunzel”, and joins them with the central story of a baker and his wife who were cursed to remain childless by the witch next door, due to a past friction with the baker’s careless father. Certain day, she visits the couple and tells them what really happened, bringing the news that the curse can only be lifted if they get her a white cow, a red cape, a yellow hair and a golden slipper. Creating a Christmas/New Year’s spirit, “Into the Woods” showcases as a creative visual/rhythmical experience that engages at first but loses a considerable amount of intensity, missing a few good chances to become more efficient. The well-cooked story was slightly affected in its last part by the repetitive inflexions and melodies, as well as a certain inability to create different moods for what was happening. It’s almost comparable to a jazz band playing the same chord with no solos. Despite of its merits, it should have had something more to say by showing more cohesion when the Giant appears. Even with ups and downs, the film brings some of the Disney’s old magic, becoming occasionally entertaining, yet never pleasurable.

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