Into the Woods

(Rob Marshall, 2014)

with Devin, Darcy, Caitlin, Jess de Martine, Theo Meneau, Kelley Merwin, and Mike Hagerman, Millerton Moviehouse, 12/26/14

5

INTO THE WOODS

Probably this all works better onstage – and maybe it all seemed much darker and more subversive on Broadway in 1987.  In this version, in this time and place, Into the Woods doesn’t seem to know how subversive it wants to be.  It sets in motion four famous fairy tales, and then begins to interweave them, but without meaningfully altering the stories (Cinderella is a minor exception).  Then it provides the requisite happy ending, followed by a Dark Turn, followed shortly thereafter by another happy ending, which doesn’t seem much more earned or valid than the first one.  It doesn’t help that the lyrics of the songs are often at odds with the actual events of the story, sometimes to the point of jeopardizing the (presumably) intended meaning (a song about tolerance and ambiguity is immediately followed by simplistic violence, which solves everything).  The cinematography is also inconsistent – at times meticulous and inventive, at other times lazy and vague.  There’s some great stuff here – especially Meryl Streep – but it doesn’t really pay off.  The good folks over at TV Tropes might call this an Indecisive Deconstruction – and they’d be dead-on.

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Published in: on January 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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