Released 12/25/2014 Rated: PG
Into the Woods is a musical that integrates the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel to that of a childless baker and his wife. I hadn’t even heard of this before the movie came out (not surprising), so I was really excited for it. Unfortunately I only really liked half of it.
So the first half is awesome. The songs are catchy. We get to see how all the characters’ stories are woven together. Everything is bright and colorful and it’s a good time. The second half I don’t like so much. It’s a bit of a downer with the moral of the story which is also represented by a more subdued color scheme and more heartfelt songs. But I think that’s the point. Kind of a the-grass-isn’t-always-greener deal.
Everyone starts out unhappy and wishing for the one thing they think would change that. And when they get their wish they are happy, but it doesn’t last. So when they find themselves back to where they started on an emotional level they each look to see who’s to blame for their current misfortune. And everyone’s to blame but themselves.
That theme I get, even if it barely works with Red Riding Hood, but there’s another one regarding appearance and being nice vs good…??? I’m not sure. It doesn’t make sense and I don’t think the film holds on to that one very well. I’d go into it more, but I’m not very confident that I even understand it correctly. It has something to do with how the witch, the ugliest character, will tell the facts where pretty faces will charm and lie. “I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right.” –the Witch.
But I love all the actors involved. Each of their voices is amazing. That opening number alone is crazy good musically, visually, and cinematically. I love the way the stories are woven together. The colors just seem to pop on screen. Like I said, I really enjoy the first half. It’s the second half that’s a bit of a buzzkill. 😦