by Kasey Green
Dark, witty, and comedic all describe one of 2014’s best films, Into the Woods. The dark film givesthe audience the back story of the famous fairy tales that people know and love. The satirical musical follows notorious characters: Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp), and Little Red Riding Hood (Lilia Crawford). These characters all play a vital role in getting the Baker (James Cordon) and his wife (Emily Blunt) the things they need in order to conceive a child.
The Disney film sticks to its Broadway roots. The musical numbers keep the viewers intrigued and enticed. Not only do the songs allow for the cast to reach their highest vocal point, but they also gave the audience words of wisdom and of truth. Moreover, the songs included in the film allow the viewers to feel as though they were sitting in a Broadway theater. These musical numbers add a joyful feel to a dark story.
As with most Disney musicals, Into the Woods tells the story to both adults and children alike. It provides children with tales of disobedience and defiance as well as the consequence of exhibiting disobedient behavior. The story also provides adults with lessons that could help in everyday life. For example, Little Red Riding Hood realizes that not everything is what it appears to be. She sings the melody I Know Things Now and discovers that sometimes "nice is different than good." Adult viewers of all kinds will relate to this and can now make the distinction between 'good' and 'nice.' Into the Woods provides many hidden meanings and undertones that children may not grasp. However, the film is intended to cater to those of a particular age and maturity level.
Lastly, the cast gives the film the push it needs to become an Oscar-winning production. Award-winning actors Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt allow the audience to see them perform in a genre they do not normally partake in. Fans of The Devil Wears Prada also get to see these two actresses star in their second film together. The two Oscar-nominated performers provides not only comedic relief, but amazing vocal talent to this musical. Their performances in this film deserves to be applauded.
Into the Woods is a fantastic film adaptation of the Broadway musical. It retains the traditions of Broadway and also gave the viewing audience useful life lessons. The movie provides humor, happiness, and excitement that will keep viewers alert throughout. It is definitely deserving of an Oscar and should go down in history as a instant classic within the genre.