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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Film: Into the Woods

Another beautiful musical that has been transferred from stage to silver screen - Into the Woods!


Into the Woods is a melting pot of fairy tales. The main fairy tales that used to propel the plot are Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Rapunzel is also used in the plot, but it is not as crucial as the three previously mentioned. The main story line is about a baker and his wife who wish to have a child, but due to a curse that was placed on the Baker’s family line they are unable to make that wish come true. In order to have the curse reversed they must collect four particular items - the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the shoe as pure as gold. It is the items that bring in the other fairy tales, and in the woods the stories become a little mixed up.

Casting Choices: I enjoyed just about everyone that they had casted for this film. The only one I wasn’t completely sold on was Johnny Depp. He did alright with the character of the Wolf, but.. I don’t know, something just wasn’t it for me. I thought that Christine Baranski was an excellent choice for Cinderella’s Stepmother. I loved how Anna Kendrick portrayed Cinderella.

Musical Performances: “Agony” - One of my favorite songs of the musical. It is absolutely ridiculous and the way that Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen perform the song captures it perfectly! There is that sense of competition, as well as that sense that they each think that they have it worse than the other. The song as a whole pokes fun at the way people view their romantic struggles and it’s down right fantastic! This is the song that gives the audience a glimpse into what the princes are like. In the film, I found myself being slightly annoyed by Cinderella’s Prince and kind of cheering for Rapunzel’s Prince in this little “whose life sucks more” battle.

“On the Steps of the Palace” - The beauty of this song is that is shows that side of Cinderella that most fairy tale portrayals do not show, her intelligence. It shows how conflicted she actually is about the entire situation. It also shows how she is trying to find a happy medium between what she knows she does not want and what she has always dreamed. Her dream is no longer what she thought initially.

“I Know Things Now” - Little Red Riding Hood’s song is wonderful. I liked the cheesy aspects to the flashback sequence when she is explaining her encounter with the wolf cosplaying as Red’s grandmother. I like the overall message of “be prepared” that this song offers. I also like the fact that the song ends with Red’s little epiphany of “isn’t nice to know a lot and a little bit not” because there are some things that are just better not knowing. At the same time, there is power in the knowledge that we have acquired along the way.

Cinematography Notes: I liked the choice of camera work when the wolf entered the story. The perspective work was well placed. All of the camera choices did the story justice.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. I recommend it to anyone. It is fun and enjoyable from beginning to end; but does what fairy tales do best - teach us lessons. So go “into the woods and out of the woods and home before dark!”

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