Get lost Into the Woods

The Charger Bulletin

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Based on the acclaimed stage musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods is a fitting film adaptation of the original theatrical masterpiece. It is hard to beat a stage version, of course, and some diehard fans of the musical may find it hard to forgive some of the differences from the stage version. Yet most casual movie watchers should come out of the theater liking the film.

Meryl Streep stars as the Witch in Into the Woods (AP photo)
Meryl Streep stars as the Witch in Into the Woods (AP photo)

There are multiple artistic licenses taken with the source material, in order to tone down the theatricality of the play and take advantage of cinematography and special effects not possible to achieve on stage. Overall, these choices are effective, give or take a few awkwardly paced moments and a couple of questionable cuts from the show.

The story revolves around a faraway land that combines the plotlines of four Grimm fairy tale classics: Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood and Rapunzel. All of these stories are tied together with an original story of a baker and his wife trying to reverse a curse placed upon them by the witch next door.

The first act is filled with tons of misadventures and laughs, while the second act offers some real-life perspectives and dilemmas, despite being in a fairy tale world. All of the stars of this film are delightful to see on the silver screen in their respective roles, and many of them are also surprisingly adept singers, not barring the miscasting of Johnny Depp, who quite frankly, was the worst part of the film. Yet if anything, see this film for Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep’s performances (there’s a reason they were nominated for the Golden Globes) and the mix of spritely and chilling music that has delighted theatergoers for decades. Into the Woods should satisfy viewers on five dollar Tuesday.