Into the Woods follows the lives of Jack and the Beanstalk, Prince Charming, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel. These five stories intertwine when the wicked witch, Meryl Streep, allows two married bakers hoping for a child to gather a cow as white as milk, shoes as pure as gold, a cape as red as blood, and hair as yellow as corn to reverse the curse.
This Disney musical starts with an opening song, “Into the Woods” that follows the five characters on their own personal journey. Similar to the stories we all grew up with, Little Red Riding Hood must not get distracted and deliver the treats to Grandma, Jack must cross the woods to get to the market to sell his family cow for money, and the bakers search for the witch’s items.
I saw this movie when it first came out with my sister, and we knew what we were getting into with a musical. The first song was okay, but there was so much singing. The cast was full of well-known actors and actresses, from Emily Blunt to Johnny Depp to Anna Kendrick.
One of the standout moments of the film, for all the wrong reasons, was the Wolf’s song, “Hello Little Girl” sung by Johnny Depp. The song was full of sexual innuendos directed at Little Red Riding Hood. Even creepier was that the costume designers let Depp’s character look more like a human than a big, bad creature. Lyrics included, “Look at that flesh, pink and plump” and “Any path, so many worth exploring, just one would be so boring” all the while Little Red Riding Hood is trying to keep on the path to grandmother’s house.
Other musical numbers like “Agony” performed by Chris Pine, Prince Charming’s underrated little brother, and “On the Steps of the Palace” were clearly meant to get a little giggle out of the audience. These satirical songs might’ve been funny to an 8-year-old, but it wasn’t that funny to my sister and I, and we ended up laughing out loud at Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick, instead of with them.
When the movie seemed to be coming to a logical close: the Prince and Cinderella had just been happily married, the bakers had found the four items, and Jack was literally finding gold bars in the sky, the movie kept going. And going. And going.
The second half of “Into the Woods” had my sister looking down at the time on her phone almost constantly. All of the events that happened were so unnecessary and slow. From the seemingly sincere baker wife having a short affair in the woods with Prince Charming (keep in mind Cinderella was sitting about 10 feet away while this was going down. Plus, the bakers were just granted what they always wished for: a baby.), a rampant giant demanding Jack be killed, Cinderella second guessing pretty much her entire existence, and Rapunzel being banished to a faraway swamp added absolutely nothing to the plot. I got the whole “ugly personalities and attitudes arise from being in the woods” but the movie didn’t need to go so far as to kill off the baker’s wife. I think in the end the baker husband adopted Jack, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood?!
Overall, this is a renter. While it was interesting for the director to explore the motives behind Prince Charming and the Wolf and the storylines were cute, I can’t erase the sheer weirdness of watching Prince Charming’s blind brother falling in love with Rapunzel in a swamp from my mind.
Leah Sheltry, Features Editor
Junior Leah Sheltry is Features Editor for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is Vice President of YUGA club and is on the swim team.