Skip to main content

Into the Woods, Are You Paying Attention to the Lure?

Into the Woods

a-review-into-the-woods

Introduction to Into The Woods

The cinematography of Into the Woods is exquisite as it captures a graphic depiction of the Grimm Fairy Tales. We know them to be dark, yet this portrayal has some exciting twists. While not for children, this film can engage adults in a conversation about the positives and negatives of this world, or "Woods," where we currently live.

The movie's introduction begins with a build-up of the Grimm Fairy Tales, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, tales through the intertwining story of a baker and his barren wife. While in love, the couple is living under an old family curse that would leave them without the desire of their hearts to have children. The Witch who placed the curse appears to them in their bakery, offering a solution that sends them into the woods on a quest to seek particular items that would grant them their wish to reverse the lifelong curse.

Each tale shows dark realism in that this movie does not leave out the -grim of the Grimm Fairy Tales. For example, the devious witch is quite scary for children. The ugly stepsisters are pretty aloof, insensitive, and much spoiled. Their desperation is prevalent by cutting off their toes to fit a shoe the prince presents when seeking his princess.

The wolf is, of course, sly in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and the realness of being swallowed up and cut from the belly of a wolf is not more manageable because the grandmother is in there with her. Little Red Riding Hood is not like the biblical story of Jonah, but a horrific experience that is indeed a fairy tale. It is doubtful that Little Red Riding Hood would come out unscathed in a new coat made of fur.

Allowing us to pretend is what tales do; they stretch the imagination, allowing the story to take on a different meaning to the individual viewer.

Be careful what you wish for...

Be careful what you wish for...

The movie has its sweet spots engaging one to believe that everything will work out, but does it? The prolog unfolds the fairy tales. Each tale presents the idea of making a wish but being careful what you wish. While the music is entertaining, the movie's beginning is what one would expect from the Grimm Fairy Tales. However, the twist comes after the wedding of Cinderella to her prince. In this scene, everyone has gotten what they wished for, but this isn't the movie's end!

The next part of the movie has a destructive entry back into the woods, where the characters in the stories face the reality of their choices. They will do anything to get what they wanted. Once they had it, they began to self-destruct because they were unsatisfied. It shows how one person making a wrong decision can start a ripple effect, causing havoc on the entire wood.

I referred to some that the movie had a biblical implication. But, many will misconstrue the reason for this comment. My thought was the need to infer the biblical references rather than have them cited. A deep sadness came over me while watching the film. I realize a connection with the woods and the enticing world of sin in which we live. The wishes of greed, sloth, envy, coveting, adultery, and violence interfere.

I became enlightened as I saw the precious stories from the Bible somehow used in misleading and subtle ways. Jack used a slingshot and a rock to kill the giant. Little Red Riding Hood met the wolf and strayed from the path of her mother's instructions. The wolf swallows Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, yet they return to safety with release from the belly of the wolf, with lessons learned.

Does this get anyone else's attention? Remember David and Goliath, the story of Jonah? David was small in stature and still able to conquer the much more massive Goliath with the grace of God and a rock. Jonah didn't follow God's instructions, straying from the path, discounting instruction, and ending up in the belly of a whale. The whale spat, Jonah escapes to resume the original way God had chosen for him, and we know Red became free from the belly of the wolf; whew!

In the movie score, there's the song "You Are not alone," you can choose what's right, and we can, but do we? How do we find ourselves entrapped in the woods, relying on this world? Why do we compare ourselves to other people's choices rather than depending on the script of our creator? This movie can simulate biblical stories, but we must infer the biblical interpretation. You must seek Christ in all things, knowing you're not alone. Where do you find solace in your aloneness? How about trying another analysis of the woods?

You are not alone

You are not alone in the woods there is one watching over you always!

a-review-into-the-woods

You are not alone, but who do you put your faith in?

While this song is beautifully sweet and shows care for others, it’s sad that the message glorifies people. My thought is yes; no one is alone. However, it isn’t the people we should depend on, as they are apt to disappoint as they did in the movie, but place our trust in God, who is with us. Again, one must infer a Christian meaning, or we see reliance on the world rather than the light of Christ available to all of us.

The woods are a dark, dreary place; you may feel alone without faith in God, which untangles the woods. God is there in the woods. Rely on Him and be careful what you wish. You aren’t alone; we can rely on one another as long as we have faith in the power of God more magnificent than any entanglement in the woods.

Stay With Me.

Stay with me...

This movie offers much to parents and great insight into how we depict the woods to our children. We trust that once we have taught them how they should go, God has us release them "Into the Woods."

There is a harsh reality in the song "Stay With Me." As a Christian, I know God loves them more than I do, yet the woods' pride is binding to a mother's heart. Letting go is never easy unless I trust that this world is for a moment. I am mindful that the trek into the woods is a path to our forever home. Knowing this allows a release as I watch my children go "Into the Woods." There is wonderment in watching them untangle themselves from the grace of God.

Scroll to Continue

As a parent, we, too, can become entrapped. We sometimes lose our way in the darkness, making mistakes, not being careful what we wish for, and forgetting we're never alone. Often, our family and friends help us find our way back to the path. They remind us of who we are in Christ, and we need to give thanks for that accountability.

"Princes wait there in the wood. It's true, princes, yes, but wolves and humans too." I am one of those humans, humbled by my reflection in the woods. I feel blessed to know that I am not alone there, no one is, and thus surrender comes with a bittersweetness.

Children listen, and if taught to love as God loves, they will continue to learn and share what they know while helping others through the woods. This mother's heart will ache as they go, but it will dissipate into an incredible joy in understanding what is on the other side.

A different thought process on Into the Woods

This writing is my two cents on into the woods. I have enjoyed the Grimm Fairy Tales and grew up with them. I could dream of my future prince; learn from the interpretations along the way. Sometimes stories are used to help teach the ideas of right and wrong, good and evil. The tales frightened me and even embarrassed at my occasional behaviors that simulated the not-so-sweet characters. These characters made me think and work toward changing for the better.

While raised in a home where the stories of the Bible were a constant, I could relate to and see God using all things in my life. I wonder, what might the story have taught us had the woods not overtaken the characters? What might have happened if they sought directly from the Holy Spirit instead of getting tangled in a mess of destruction? What if it did not focus them on their single wish but trusted their life design is for a purpose that was not for them to decide? What if they hadn't strayed from the path or one another? What if they hadn't stolen, lusted, or given in to greed? I can hear Our Father in heaven singing the phrase, "Children won't listen." It all depends on the books you read and how you interpret the stories.

I love a good movie. I'm not a prude by any means, but I love God so genuinely that I see most things in how they relate or do not to God's word. Some will agree that you can see some similarities, but many will not, and that's okay. If you do nothing else, please listen to the last song I have posted here, "You are not alone." There is someone who wants your heart. It's not a guy, not a prince, not a girl, not a princess, it is a King, and He is fantastic! He will help you through the woods.

Blessings to you as you travel through the woods!

You are not alone He is with you through it all

Is it possible to see reference to the Word in all things?

© 2015 Kathy Henderson

Comments

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on June 15, 2015:

Agreed Bill, Meryl is a talent to behold and she never dissappoints. This was an awesome movie and very thought provoking. I could watch it again and again. :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 15, 2015:

We went to it and loved it. Streep can do no wrong as far as this movie goer believes.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on January 15, 2015:

DDE - Thanks I appreciate the read, my daughter told me she saw it in a different light as well after reading this. Writing is a cool way to change perspective's at least when we open ourselves up to possibilities. God is so good and seeing Him in all things is awesome!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 15, 2015:

An interesting insight to Into The Woods, you certainly got my attention.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 15, 2015:

An interesting insight to Into The Woods, you certainly got my attention.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on January 12, 2015:

Dear Ms. Dora,

Thank you for the comment, I hope you get to see the movie. I would love to hear your point of view. Blessings to you in your futuea stages.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on January 12, 2015:

North Wind,

I see we agree, such a blessing to have a few out there with a similar viewpoint. The children are our future, and we must protect them and teach them in the ways they should go. It is refreshing to see that some get the points I was trying to make, with this review. Thanks for the comment and read and blessings to you always.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 12, 2015:

Thanks for your review of "Into the Woods" citing your godly interpretation of the secular happenings. Well done!

North Wind from The World (for now) on January 12, 2015:

I have not seen the movie but I did read about the Jack and the Beanstalk part and my mind went right to David and Goliath as well. I do tend to analyze things according to the Bible. I have grown quite wary of Hollywood and the messages they send especially to children. They do know that children listen and they want the children to listen to them and live in darkness instead of light.

Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on January 12, 2015:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I love your comment. It's always good to take a second look with reflection to the word and how it applies to anything and everything in our corrupt world. We can see how God is working in all situations, if we look at things from a message perspective. Your the best!

Volleyball0429 on January 12, 2015:

I agree with your review of the movie. I

Can see the biblical reference and look forward to watching it again with these stories such as David and Goliath and Jonah in mind

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on January 11, 2015:

Children do listen - sometimes more than we would like - while appearing to take absolutely no notice of what is going on. This looks like an interesting film, I must watch out for it.

Related Articles