Into The Woods

Those of you who know me personally, know that I don’t tend to enjoy stage musicals, and most of the time, I don’t enjoy the movies of the stage musical either. I went to see Les Miserables with my school choir years ago when I was 14. We saw it in the West End, the theatre was packed! And when it was over, I was the only one in the entire theatre, who wasn’t crying! I couldn’t wait to get out of there. don’t get me wrong, I appreciated what the musical was about, and I knew all of the songs and liked most of them. It was the stage acting I cringed at.

It takes a lot for me to enjoy a musical. So when my mum last visited us, she bought Into the Woods from Asda, and of course, she wanted to watch it. I was reluctant, but I thought, oh I can listen to it in the background while I potter about the house.

Now I had heard a lot about this movie, and I knew it was originally a stage musical, and that it was very dark. I find the cast very encouraging, because it was a mixture of British and American actors, although I didn’t know any of them could sing. However, some of my friends warned me not to watch it, and I knew of others who’d seen the original stage version, and thought the movie was awful.
intothewoodsstageInto The Woods on stage

You can see I was already thinking negatively about the film. Also, even though I am a HUGE fan of Johnny Depp andn Meryl Streep, I had managed to force myself to watch Sweeny Todd and Mama Mia, which neither I liked obviously, but I couldn’t believe that two of my favourite actors were trying to sing. I didn’t know any of the Sweeny Todd songs, so I couldn’t compare. I was just relieved Johnny Depp chose acting rather than singing as a career. But I did know all the ABBA songs, and when I heard Meryl sing in Mama Mia, I cried. I cried with pain. This didn’t give me hope when my mum put on Into the Woods. And I assumed the other actors sang the same, so I wasn’t expecting to hear anything special.

Then the movie began…

I sat down to watch it…

I was still watching…

I was smiling…

I’m liking this story…

I’m enjoying this film…

Oh my god Meryl is amazing…

I’M CRYING!?!?!?!?!?….

I LOVED IT!

WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE?????

Maybe it was because I didn’t have any high expectations, and didn’t know anything about the story, other than what I had read on IMDB. But I really enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. Because there is hardly any speaking, It literally goes from song to song to song. Which normally I detest. But I was loving it.  My mum and sister was shocked at how much I liked it. I couldn’t stop speaking about it. You know when you really like a movie or a song and you have to tell everyone. That was me. Hence this blog post!

But what really was the most amazing thing about the film, was Meryl. Meryl Streep was fantastic. I mean I love her as an actress anyway, but as the witch she was brilliant. She was sort of the villain, but you liked her, and you cared for her, and you felt sorry for her. And her singing!!! I don’t know why she didn’t sing well in Mama Mia, because she sang her heart out in this.
merylstreepIf you don’t know already, the story is about a witch who tasks a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) with finding magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. Anna Kendrick plays Cinderella, Chris Pine plays Prince Charming, Johnny Depp plays the big bad Wolf.
into-the-woodsThe film is directed by Rob Marshall, who also brought Chicago and Nine to the screen. He was inspired to do a film version of Into the Woods after President Barack Obama quoted one of the musical’s most popular songs, “No One is Alone”, during a memorial service on the 10th anniversary of September 11th terrorist attacks. He said to the families of the victims, “You are not alone. No one is alone.” Though the reference was likely unintentional, Marshall stated that the reference made the musical relevant and saw it as “a fairytale for the post-9/11 generation.”

The music! As it’s a musical, of course Im going to talk about the music. The music was very strong, loud, and powerful. It wasn’t soft, or pretty or cheesy. And like I said earlier, there’s not a lot of speaking, and sometimes they sing instead of speaking. Now this I don’t usually like, and it’s why I don’t enjoy stage acting. However it didn’t seem to bother me in this film.

Now my favourite song in the film is “Stay with Me”, which the witch sings to Rapunzel after she finds out she has met a Prince. Meryl Streep sang most of her songs live, even though she had already pre-recorded them! Watch this clip and see for yourself how amazing she is…

In the stage production the witch is normally played by a young actress in old age make up, who then has the old age make up removed after the transformation takes place. Meryl admitted that at age of 64 when she filmed the role, it was more of a challenge to make her appear clearly younger after the transformation takes place.

I think she looks fab when she transforms, her hair and outfit is fab, just look at her in this clip as she sings Last Midnight…

 

Surprisingly, Johnny Depp is only in the film for about 5 minutes. He plays the Wolf. His song, had to be slightly altered, as the original implyed paedophilia. And as this is a Disney film, they couldn’t have that. He was great as the wolf, but he didn’t steal the show. Probably there was a lot of Depp fans who went to see the film just becuase he was in it. They probably disliked the film even more when they realised he was hardly in it.

If you like dark fairy tales, musicals, and Meryl Streep, then I advise you to watch Into the Woods. It may just surprise you, as I did me.

“You’re not good, you’re not bad, you’re just nice. I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right. I’m the witch. You’re the world.” – The Witch

Jamie

Originally posted OCT 27TH 2015 on previous website

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