**NOTE: If you don’t want to know anything about the movie, do not keep reading. If you have no idea what Into the Woods is, watch the trailer below.**
Plot Summary: Into the Woods is the re-imagined look at fairy tales. Where Disney, Grimm, and the original meet. A Baker and his wife wish to have a child but find that they are cursed by their neighbor, the Witch. In order to undo the curse, they must find 4 objects: a cape as red as blood, hair the color of corn, cow as white as milk, and a slipper as pure as gold. The Baker and wife come across Cinderella, Jack (and the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel who all posses the things they need, but are wishing for their own change of fates. However, the magical beans get in the way of their plans as giants are invited into the kingdom. As they enter Into the Woods they find their path’s cross as they learn about the consequences of wishes, responsibility, and the legacy we leave our children.
Review (no spoilers): Star studded casts in movie musicals usually scare me, but this cast pulled off Sondheim. James Corden (the baker) and Emily Blunt (the wife) had the perfect amount of heart and affability mixed with the desperate desire to have a child. They also brought the comedic side that this version wanted to pull off. They were joined by Meryl Streep (the Witch), Anna Kendrick (Cinderella), and Chris Pine (Prince Charming). All my friends were surprised Kendrick could sing that well (then I told them she was a Broadway kid) and Pine could sing at all (I was too). Perhaps the funniest moment of the movie was Pine and Rapunzel’s Prince singing “Agony”. I didn’t know Pine could be so dramatic, the whole theater was laughing and secretly wishing he was singing about them. Streep’s voice is much better suited for this type of role than her previous movie musical foray in Mama Mia. We all know she can act the hell out of anything, but she can even sing Sondheim. Even the youngest of the cast, Little Red (Lilla Crawford, Annie on Broadway) and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone, Les Miz the Movie) were flawless actors and singers. Both a little naive, but full of passion. The pacing near the end began to wane and it gets a little long. Due to the fact they had to shorten a 3 hour show, the end jumps a bit, one thing after another happens without much time to process. However, I think musical theater lovers will still appreciate this film, Disney didn’t completely take away the darker aspects. New audiences will be singing as they leave the theater and still pinning after Pine.
I was lucky to see an advanced screening with friends. I refrain from divulging too much information but feel free to ask questions about the movie! — J