This of course is based on the musical stage play originally, which mixes up multiple fairy tales while looking at them in a new fashion. Including but not limited to Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming. However this is no typical disney light hearted fairy tale, heading far more into the Brother’s Grim darker side of storytelling. With things such as the wicked stepmother carving off parts of her daughters feet to try and get them to fit inside the golden slipper, anything she can to gain her daughter’s the crown. Main character’s being killed off. And not so happy endings as once Cinderella gains her Prince, he soon grows bored with her and ends up finding himself seducing a young woman in the woods. Not so Charming after all!
This gains a large all star cast including Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, Chris Pine as Prince Charming, James Corden as the Baker, Emily Blunt as the baker’s wife and Meryl Streep as the Witch.
The main storyline follows the Baker and Baker’s wife who through a curse can not have children, trying to collect a series of items for the Witch so she can become young again and for their reward they will be granted a child. While the other fairytale characters cut in and out with their own storylines interconnecting as they all travel through ‘the woods’.
However the way the characters connect in and out has been poorly edited in places leaving the viewer rather confused to what is actually going on or to who some of them actually are. As for the musical side, the songs seem to be just shoved in anywhere without any real flow or granting much progression in the movie. The film is very visual in places, with a good storyline, it just doesn’t seem to translate very well from stage to screen. I think if (like myself) you have not seen the original stage play you may find yourself a little bit left out on what is happening. This film could have done with easily an extra twenty minutes of screen time to link the multiple threads in a fashion that would explain things better without the constant jumping from thread to thread. It was an enjoyable film on the whole, but it will very much be one of those love it or hate it films for most people.
I understand the stage show is far more understandable, and enjoyable. So do not let this put you off seeing it.
Sarah Beth James