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Cruella: A Review

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cruella-a-novice-review

Background

The film is a live action revision of the animated film 101 Dalmatians. It is the origin story of the movie's antagonist Cruella and thus is set before she became a legendary dog napper. Audiences follow the life of her makeshift foster family as they band together in this tale of revenge.

I was late to hearing about the announcement of Disney's Cruella. I had accidently stumbled across the trailers as I was surfing the internet in February. The movie's trailer promised all the great elements of a summer film. I was eager to see the angle the directors would take and how they would present her in this film.

cruella-a-novice-review

I am Woman, Hear me roar.

In the weeks leading up to the film's release, I saw a lot of fans expressing their hopes of what they wanted the film to be and what they hoped it wouldn't be. Many were concerned that Disney would re-write the villain's story like they did with Maleficent. They wanted to see a villain be a villain, not portrayed as misunderstood. Having been a personal fan of Maleficent, I couldn't quite understand the disdain for the movie's angle. I thought Disney had done an excellent job revisiting and rewriting the "Mad Woman In the Arctic" trope that lurks in the shadows of many films and children's fairy tales. I was happy to see a female voice be given the chance to share their side of the story after being written as crazy, jealous and othered; but that is something to be further discussed in another article.

After watching Cruella, I quickly came to understand why so many women wanted to see a true female villain. I found I walked out the theater with my back a little straighter, my walk had more of a strut to it. Cruella was indeed born to be the villain by society's standards, to be unconventional and somewhat rugged. She was not meant to play the dainty princess or the secretly gentle queen roles that had come before her. Cruella offers a refreshing new twist to the portrayal of female characters in films. This is not a tale where our villain goes on some redeeming request to save the day. This is a tale of revenge and anarchy. After years of being told to water herself down and walk the straight and narrow, she breaks free. She is not the heartless monster originally present in the 1961 film, 101 Dalmatians. Yet, her motives are all her own, she is not attempting to prove a point, she is merely existing as her true authentic self. Dangerous, edgy and not to be messed with. She gives voice to the little girls and women told to conform.

cruella-a-novice-review

Is it worth the watch?

This film is worth being seen more than once. Beautifully written and excellently directed. It held my attention from start to finish. It has a great balance of humour and action. The story line is never muddled by the fast paced event that take place and every scene holds purpose.

I admired how visually and auditorily pleasing it is.The soundtrack was fun and exciting to say the least. Each song feels as though it was produced to be in this film. The sounds and music often made me feel like I was in the film rather than view it from a screen.The film's aesthetic fit the London backdrop well. From lighting to camera angles, the shots displayed the grittiness of the lives of lower class Londers. They also managed to mesh the newspaper clippings into the scenes in away that appeared natural. As though it was just normal for words to appear and disappear in your kitchen as you are planning to overthrow your nemesis.

Finally, the best part of the film was Cruella herself. The trailer had led me to believe that she would be portrayed as the female Joker of the Disney universe. However, she has proven to be her own person. She demands the crowd's attention just as she demands the respect of those around her. Cruella is aware of her brilliance and is unapologetic about it. Disney has produced a character that is unlike any other. One worthy of praise.

Comments

Sky Wilson (author) from Nassau, Bahamas on June 01, 2021:

I hoped you enjoyed my review! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the film.

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