Cruella ★★★

Is this fun to watch? Yes. Are the Emmas chewing that scenery like their lives depended on it? HELL YES. Are the costumes as fabulous as advertised? OH MY GOD YES.

But the more I sit with this, the more it sours, and not because of the film's execution, but because of the mere fact of its existence. I get the desire to "understand" villains and how they became so villainous, I really do, but some people are JUST EVIL, and attempting to explain the nature of their villainy renders them no longer truly villainous in the original work (never mind that this film makes absolutely zero sense in the context of 101 Dalmations). At a certain point, pretending otherwise and telling this kind of story becomes reprehensible, and when a wannabe authoritarian despot has convinced his followers to commit a violent insurrection on our nation's capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election which they STILL haven't conceded, it feels like we've reached the point where explaining away villainy is doing a HUGE disservice to the greater good by positing that even the worst actions a person can take aren't really so bad because those actions were justified by some traumatic event in their past. Sorry, but I'm just not buying it anymore. #LetVillainsBeVillains

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