BY ANASTASIA MONTAVON
Disney brought the musical “Into The Woods” to the big screen this past December. The musical first debuted in 1986, and now it has been brought to movie theaters for the first time. While some changes were made to reduce run-time and make the movie more “family-friendly,” this adaption has its high points as well as its low points.
The movie follows Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), and a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt). Each of the fairy tale characters set off into the woods to find their happy ending: Cinderella wants to go the prince’s festival, the baker and his wife want a child, Jack needs to sell his cow and Red needs to get to her grandma’s house. This movie also features Meryl Streep as the Witch and Johnny Depp as the Wolf. Most of the actors in this film perform very well, and, with a few exceptions, really help to pull the viewer into the movie.
There’s one scene in the movie that needs to be addressed, and that scene is the performance of “Agony” by the princes (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen). The song is arguably the best performed song in the movie, with both actors playing their parts perfectly. It’s definitely the most memorable part of the movie. It pains me to admit it, since I’m tired of the fuss the internet makes over it, but the fuss is well-earned. The rest of the performances in the movie really don’t quite measure up to that one scene, which is unfortunate.
The first half is the better half of the movie. The introduction establishes the main characters, what their goals are and what they have to do to accomplish them. The songs in the first half include “Agony,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” and “It Takes Two.” Each of the main characters’ plots weave together so that all of their stories come together and build for the conclusion of the first half. Things are interesting and all songs move the plot along one way or another (although some more than others).
The second half of the movie falls flat compared to the first half. After everyone gets their happy endings, everything takes a turn for the worst. While the first half is exciting, something gets lost in the second half, and it’s hard to stay interested. There are a few deaths (although noticeably less than the musical) and a lot of bickering. In addition, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, the Baker and Jack sing “No One is Alone,” where the Baker and Cinderella try to explain morality to the kids. Based on the conversation leading into the song, plus the lyrics of the song itself, it seems like the characters are at least going to consider that they might need to rethink their plan. But instead, the song ends, and they immediately enact their plan. The scene is pointless, and out of all the songs from that were cut from the musical, I’m surprised that this one made it in. The ending also feels abrupt, coming on very fast.
Overall, this movie is still good. Not great, just . . . good. The actors all performed well, but at the same time, this movie still has a lot of potential that it didn’t quite fulfill. Would I watch it again? Honestly, no, I don’t think I would. It’s a nice movie to see once, but after that there’s no real desire to watch it again.
Now, would I go online and watch “Agony” again? Yes, absolutely. But that scene doesn’t make this movie re-watchable.