Film review: Into the Woods (4 out of 5)

I have to admit that I’ve never been too keen on musicals.

Friday, 9th January 2015, 9:15 pm
Meryl Streep goes Into the Woods.
Meryl Streep goes Into the Woods.

It’s probably due to being dragged to several by my parents way back when I was a youngster and the genre was very popular.

So full credit to everyone involved that I rather enjoyed this movie.

It’s not a Les Mis type of movie with everyone bursting into song at the drop of a hat, but plenty of chat and a number of tunes breaking up the storyline.

Meryl Streep goes Into the Woods.

I have to say that although I couldn’t recall any of the tunes after the film finished, I enjoyed them all at the time.

And a big thumbs up to all the cast who show excellent singing skills.

Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick in particular are excellent

It’s based on the stage play and book that appeared in the 1980s, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

The plot is a neat twist on the Brothers Grimm stories which are all tied together by a witch (Meryl Streep) giving a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Blunt) a chance to break a curse she imposed on their family.

They have to gather a selection of magical items - so we have efforts to track down Red Riding Hood’s cloak, Jack and the Beanstalk’s cow, Cinderella’s slipper and some blonde hair, courtesy of Rapunzel.

There are various cameos from the likes of Johnny Depp, Frances de la Tour, Annette Crosbie and esteemed theatre actor Simon Russell Beale.

While it’s all good fun, the final third of the movie does take a rather big lurch in a different direction.

However, it’s an enjoyable couple of hours, with some fine performances and a chance to escape reality.

Film details: Into the Woods (PG) 125mins

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol