Cruella ★★★½

I really enjoyed this, super fun, surpassed my expectations by a mile, and I barely noticed the run time, in fact I kept hoping it would go on longer, holding out to see what Cruella/Estella would be wearing next.

Cruella is by cannon, representative of the darker side of the older, wealthier fashion industry. She wants to kill animals, attain real fur for the luxury of it, and owns the animals she gets her fur from to excess. The Devil Wear Prada parallels also make this quite clear. For this reason, rewriting her as some sort of anti-establishment anarchist punk vigilante makes no sense. She is the antithesis of punk.
The baroness is symbolic of the couture high fashion scene which at the time the film is set in consisted of labels like Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Cruella’s personal style (high fashion punk hybrid) is one that mimics the likes of alternative designers such as Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano (a designer at Dior) and Alexander McQueen (The red jewel necklace is directly inspired by a Vivienne Westwood jewellery piece). My point here is, she does not want to overthrow this highly criticised high fashion establishment, she wants to become it. Her politics begin and end with herself, and there is nothing punk about that, rendering this a capitalist film disguised as anti-capitalist.

Utilising imagery from a movement that was born out of disillusionment with capitalism and restrictions on personal freedom, to sell a story about a cruel white woman whose personality is entirely based on killing puppies (or pretending to kill them?) feels a bit off :/ (but very Disney)

It is further cheapened by the way Disney picks this aesthetic because it looks cool, but fails to show us Cruella’s influences or what motivates her designs, giving us an artist with seemingly no inspiration? Removing the context for the complexities of punk fashion makes the clothes, and Cruella, that little bit hollower, which does not work well with the sympathetic re-write angle.

I've mostly spoken negatives here but as you might tell from my rating, that was not at all my overall take and the viewing experience itself was a positive one! I also think whoever designed these costumes did an amazing job despite probably being quite creatively restricted by their obligations to Disney.

(((((Also have to mention that fkn Stooges needle drop at the fashion/punk show. Genius, and one of my favourite songs of all time<3)))))

Sophia liked these reviews