musical, into the woods, film

Into The Woods

(Into The Woods (Movie - 2014)

Into The Woods may be the most confusing and hectic musical I have ever seen. And I absolutely adore it! In this musical, we watch as countless different characters run across the screen to get what they desire as quickly as they can.

We see the baker and his wife, who want only a child, as well as Cinderella, who just wishes to go to the ball, Jack, who wants milk from his cow, while his mother wants money and gold to help them to survive. Then, of course, there's the little red riding hood, who wants to get to her grandma and the wolf who's looking for a filling meal. And then there's Rapunzel, who wishes to be free rather than being stuck living in her tower till the end of her days, and two princes, who mainly would just like to find the girl of their dreams.

Of course, I can't forget my favorite character, the one who brings them all together in one way or another, the witch. The witch is played by the brilliant Meryl Streep, and she wants to once again be young and beautiful. Unfortunately, to get her beauty back she would need to collect certain items that, by specific rules, she's not allowed to touch, so she must enlist the help of the baker and his wife, telling them that in exchange for the items she needs, she will help them to bear a child.

The baker and his wife ultimately decide that they will, but there's a time limit, and now they must roam the forest and find everything within three days time. The forest is how one might expect it to be, dark, gloomy, and more than a little bit frightening. That, mixed with the ominous music that was skillfully written, leads to a lot of suspense throughout the movie. The entire film practically designed to have you at the edge of your seat in eagerness and anticipation.

A series of events cause a turmoil when someone accidentally messed everything up for the group, and the blame gets thrown from one person to another, never staying with someone for very long. You come to realize that little things throughout the film, things that may have seemed small or unimportant at the time, came to have a great effect on the story.

This film shows us that greed of material desires can blind us to what is right and what is important and that sometimes we have to trust in what we have. It shows that we should work to get to what we want rather than taking the easy way out, lest we may come to find that the easy way caused more trouble than it was worth.

My only complaint might be the same one I've heard from multiple other people who have watched this film, which is that it goes on a little longer than perhaps needed to be. Two-thirds of the way through the movie, many people get a happy ending, and all is well, then they go and have a whole new big problem that everyone has to deal with and the story gets turned upside down. Many people have stated that they think it should have ended just before that, and sometimes I think they're right. When I think they're wrong is when I remember all of the great songs that come near the end.

Despite that, this was a fantastic musical that I plan on watching many times over. If you've not yet seen it, I would suggest that you do.

Felicity Knight