‘Cruella‘ is a Disney prequel film directed by Craig Gillespie that explores the origin story of one of their greatest villains. It is based on a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara.
Estella Miller (Emma Stone) is a petty thief working with Jasper Badun (Joel Fry) and Horace Badun (Paul Walter Hauser). She engaged in crime following the death of her mother Catherine Miller (Emily Beecham). After getting a job at a clothing shop, she is discovered by fashion icon Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson) who taps into Estella’s design talent. Estella notices that the Baroness has her mother’s necklace and she plans to steal it. However, while the job is going down, Estella becomes Cruella to disguise herself and realizes the Baroness is the one who killed her mother by summoning a vicious group of dogs. This sparks a desire for revenge and the transformation of a villain.
I will say, I did enjoy the music. Known for movies like Gimme the Loot, Nicholas Britell does a good job with the music composition and with the selection of the songs. They all fit the movie’s scenes and the overall vibe of the film.
This movie highlights a problem for Disney, they seemed to have lost their way when it comes to their villains. They transform them from the victimizers into the victims, making them lose their value as characters. The problem exists with this film as well. This did not help Emma Stone with portraying Cruella. She lacks the charisma of Betty Lou Gerson (1961), the charm of Glenn Close (1996), and even the savvy of Victoria Smurfit (2016). I feel bad saying this because I believe Stone has the talent for such a character, but the script hampered her.
They also did an injustice to the characters of Anita and Roger. They are downright disrespected and made to look like buffoons to make way for the very woman who got outsmarted by their dogs. They turned Cruella from a smart intelligent, mad, evil woman into a victim who is even hurt by the canines she tries to terrorize later in life. It felt incredibly cheap and forced, a common analysis of Disney’s live-action remakes.
Honestly, if this film had been a standalone feature about a woman seeking revenge on the folks who hurt her, it could have flown. Since Disney made it about Cruella de Vil, it just felt disappointing.
Bottom line, Cruella is a movie that shows the weakness of this modern-day Disney. They have forgotten their roots and seem to forget what made these characters great for so many generations.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some violence, Comic mischief
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m born brilliant, born bad, and maybe just a little bit mad.
Check out the trailer below:
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