Ludicrous’s review published on Letterboxd:
Imagine if you were watching a pyschological crime thriller through the perspective of a villain psychopath; except make it Disneyfied.
Does that mean that because it’s more light, it defeats the purpose of that sort of genre? Or does that mean it still has that Disney magic without it being to dark and heavy - so I can let my kids see it? What does this description exactly entail....
I DONT KNOW cause I’m trying to figure out what this movie makes me feel too.
But since we are delving somewhat into the what if’s of psychopathy with this film, made that is how you are suppose to feel; that you don’t know what to feel.
Anyway, with that said, lemme just do a brief history of the remake era of Disney (please skip this paragraph if you don’t care.
The first thing I remember from Disney’s stir craze of “what if we used our original source materials and redid them” was Maleficent. That movie was very special to me because it was something I never saw before. Context to a villain and the reasonings for who the villain is the way they are - from their perspective.
...Then they went all ham and flipped a 180 and decided “let’s just remake our animated films in live action form.” And honest to God - this is a hot take - that was a brilliant idea from a marketing and business standpoint because Gen Z is so nostalgic over everything to the point where I cried over having to use a different type of toothbrush than I usually use and had to find one of the same brand. 😅
So I despite all the controversy over the remakes, I truly don’t mind them unless they are entertaining.
But then because of the backlash of the remakes being to similar to their predecessors; Disney messed around a bit.
We got Christopher Robin; I was very excited for, but it turned out to be incredibly dull and lifeless.
We got Aladdin; which changes thing around just enough to make it very fun and it’s my favorite out of the remakes.
And then we got... Mulan *SHUDDERS* where it just...flopped because....THEY WERE PRESSURED TO MAKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE JUST STUCK TO SCENE BY SCENE ADAPTATION OF IT.
But there is a very picky fan base that Disney is playing fire with right now.
And that brings up to Cruella (to continue to real review here 😅)
Cruella is a very experimental film from Disney, and that is a treat because that hasn’t happened in a long time or never - at least like this before.
And my expectations for this movie was just simply as scattered brained as the narrative; didn’t know what to expect, but knowing Cruella (Once Upon A Time fans, where u at?), I knew this BETTER be a ride about a character that doesn’t get redeemed.
BUT FIRST, lemme talk about the cinematography and soundtrack for this film. Because that was the highlight for me.
For the first half of the movie, it feels like songs from the 70s blare every thirty seconds in the film. What that tells me is that Estelle’s brain is exploding with naive, mischievous, thoughts and they are just screaming as loud and obnoxious as the soundtrack.
And the way this is film???? OH GOSH, like, we are zipping down a hallway in one scene, cutting back to an imaginative scenario in Estella’s head, and things are getting through left and right at us. It’s a lot of information to take in, but it’s also a collective, organized chaos so you never feel lost in the story or confused about the plot and/or details (*coughcough looking at you Birds of Prey; take some notes *coughcough*)
But then on the second half of the movie, the 70s music starts to die out as we venture out of the lighthearted shenanigans of the film into the more raw emotional and intriguing plot twists of the film. The soundtrack begins to sound more like a movie’s soundtrack - dark and menancing - seeking for revenge type vibes and the song selections are more of the edgy type songs.
The filming is also at a slower pace to let you soak in all of the nuances and bitterness felt within Estelle
As the credits rolled and the Cruella theme song played in a haunting and menancing way, I had chills. The whole mood was ominous and I felt like something bad was gonna happen.
And honestly, I wouldn’t want to feel any other way from Cruella. This is exactly how I wanted to feel when I was so worried they were gonna give Cruella the Maleficent treatment and lessen her problematic behavior and vileness.
And they didn’t; but not in the way you’d expect it. The movie is definitely Disneyfied and it treads softly on its more darker elements and themes - but I wouldn’t change that as well.
I have more I want to say and I’ll list it here so I can save it for a second review with spoilers (and I will watch and review this again cause I really enjoyed this a lot from a psychology nerd standpoint); but I think I’ll just leave it here.
But I do want to touch on these parts of the movie eventually:
- Mental Illness
- Jasper and Horace
- Connections to 101 Dalmatians
- The Baronness
- The Fashion Elements of the film.
This movie is a mess and it’s so experimental that I can see how this will have a variety of opinions. Some will get off put by the film, some will take it too seriously, some will take it too lightly.
Some will be inspired, some will be disturbed.
It’s controversial and the most wildcard movie Disney has ever put out in a minute.
But that’s exactly who Cruella is. Messy, Mischievous, Controversial, some may say she’s “the devil,” but it’s also one hell of a ride and a whole lot of fun.
Emma Stone needs to win some sort of award for this film, I don’t care if it’s Disney, it needs to happen. Her performance was so good in this film that I forgot that she was the main star of the film and all I could see was Cruella. It would be a crime if she doesn’t getting anything from this because she KILLED this like a particular dog coat.