The other day I was persuaded to catch this musical movie by two friends. They said to me: “Come on, it’s a crossover between many fairy tale stories. It’s the fairy tale version of The Avengers!”
The movie is called Into The Woods. I think the movie was released in the United States on Christmas Day last year, but it was only released here in Malaysia like, a week ago.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byk9Is3TjY]
It was an interesting movie. There is an ensemble cast, with Meryl Streep playing the Witch. I can still remember Meryl Streep’s incredible performances from Mamma Mia!
There’s also a guy (sorry, I don’t know him) and Emily Blunt playing the main protagonists, the Baker and his wife.
True enough, there are quite a few fairy tales being featured prominently in this musical movie. I counted four of them throughout the entire movie..
Anna Kendrink as Cinderella
I-don’t-know-her-but-she’s-pretty-too as Rapunzel
Jack and the Beanstalk
Little Red Riding Hood
So, basically, the movie talks about how the four main characters crossed each other’s path as they go through the stories that we were so accustomed with as a child. Cinderella attending the ball and then winning the prince’s heart and then marrying him. Rapunzel was found by her prince charming and escaped the doorless tower she was kept in. Jack climbed up the beanstalk, stole riches from the giants and then killed the giant by chopping down the beanstalk. Little Red Riding Hood and grandma were saved from the Wolf. Heck, they even threw in a Johnny Depp cameo as the Wolf.
The musical leads us through all of them reaching their happily ever after in a barrage of delightful music and singing. It was rather refreshing to watch this movie as we re-live all these fairy tale stories with a few twists here and there so that they become an intertwined plot.
Except, that was only the first half of the movie. There is a second half. After watching this second half, the only thing that I can think of is to caution my fellow readers: If you have kids and want them to enjoy some fairy tale stories that you used to read as a kid, DO NOT bring them into the cinemas to watch this movie! DON’T DO IT!!
To tell you why, I’m going to have to reveal part of the plot in the next part of my post, so if you don’t want spoilers, don’t click it. Just trust me NOT to bring kids into the cinemas for this.
You clicked in, so don’t blame me for spoiling the movie for you. 😉
If you watched the trailer, you would notice these words: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. The movie is exactly about this warning. After showing you all the happily ever afters, it shows you what happens after that.
The main characters in this movie are the Baker and his wife. It revolves around their quest to break the Witch’s curse and how they came across all the main characters of the fairy tales, lying and cheating and deceiving their way to fulfil their quests.
They started by giving Jack the beans to buy his cow, lying to him that the beans are magical, not knowing that the beans are indeed magical.
Then they went on their merry way, and we watch how the movie plays out all the happily ever afters.
Cinderella was happily married to her Prince Charming, living happily ever after… for a short while. Then the prince got bored with her and wanted other girls instead. And worse, she was not allowed out of the castle and lost her freedom. She ended up dressing up as a maid and sneaked out of the castle.
Then things started to get… unexpected. While Jack was able to chop off the giant beanstalk and killed the giant in the process, the Baker’s wife had one of the beans left. She tried to trade the bean for Cinderella’s shoes, but Cinderella was smarter and refused the bean. The bean got tossed away and soon enough, it grew into another giant beanstalk.
In the original Jack and the Beanstalk story, the giant had a wife. In this movie, he still had a wife, and the wife was able to climb down through the second beanstalk and began to terrorize the people in her hunt for Jack. In the ensuing chaos, the Baker’s wife, Rapunzel, Jack’s mother and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma were all killed.
In the end, the remaining fairy tale characters realized that their wishes for happily ever after were actually careless and selfish wishes before they banded together to kill the giant’s wife. After the story ended, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack moved in with the Baker because they have all lost their families and homes.
How about that? I don’t know about you, but I was pretty traumatized when the movie ended. I remember I kept whispering “What the f**k? What the f**k? What the f**k?” to myself.
I remember leaving the cinema thinking, these guys from Walt Disney Pictures are all psychopaths and bastards. It is like they are trying to convey this message: You grew up with fairy tales as a kid. Now that you’re adults, it’s time to let you know that there is no such thing as fairy tales and reality is cruel!
Apparently this is not even a Walt Disney original. Suituapui mentioned (and Wikipedia confirmed) that this is actually an adaptation from a Broadway musical earlier. Holy f**k. It means those guys from Broadway were the original psychopaths. Well, Walt Disney Pictures are still bastards anyway, for adapting this sick musical into movies!
And girls, if you’re obsessed with finding your Prince Charming, Walt Disney offers a piece of advice. They tell you what a Prince Charming really thinks in his mind..
“I was raised to be charming, not sincere!”