In to the woods (2014)

Rob Marshall presents us a musical fantasy film of four fairy tales, where an ensemble cast led by Meryl Streep represent the stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Little Red Riding Hood. Based on a Broadway musical it gave us a toned down Disney version for a family audience.

It is complicated to do justice to four stories, which has been done. It isn’t easy to weave them into one either, that too has been achieved. What is perhaps most difficult, is to give the stories ‘fairy tale endings’ and then introduce a whole new set of complications.

That tight rope is perhaps the strength of the film, which shows us how the protagonists we have known since we were children don’t necessarily accept their happy fate. They question it, and the actions of others involved in it.

The woods are but a metaphor for our darker side, or the dilemma of our conscience. The cast has sung the songs and there was no surprise for Meryl’s 19th Academy Award nomination with her performance. Walking the thin line between insane and vengeful her dramatics leave you wanting more.

A fearless tale with good music and visuals.

3/5

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