Plot: In an attempt to lift a curse preventing him and his wife from having a child, the local Baker (James Corden) must venture into the mysterious woods in order to retrieve the items requested of him by a witch. But he is not alone out there as familiar characters all seek their happy endings.
But once those happy endings have been granted, the `ever after` part is not so easily found. Actions have consequences and all must learn what they are capable of before their wishes can truly be granted. A magical musical where nothing is as it seems.
Quote: `Stay a child while you can be a child.`
Opinion: I was looking forward to seeing this film due to the amazing cast. Meryl Streep, James Corden, Anna Kendrick to name but a few. If there is one role that shows an actor’s skill, it is putting them in something completely whimsical such as this and seeing how they carry it off. Opinions from friends confirmed that I wanted to watch it. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting as I knew little other than that it was a musical.
The first half is stronger than the second. The characters seeking their happy endings works well and flows together. The film does not end when they accomplish what they wish though and this means the pacing is fast. Again, this works in the first half because the characters are striving towards the same things. In the second half, it feels a little rushed. There was more than one event where I blinked and didn’t realise until later what had actually happened. While it kept the tone light, it happened on too many occasions and undermined the plot.
The songs were fast and catchy – needed in this sort of film. The acting was good and the singing was respectable. The cast have strong voices. Kendrick for one made her name in a musical (Pitch Perfect) and is therefore known for her voice as well as her acting. There were a few occasions, however, when the songs were so fast and the diction of the actors not strong enough that you got the tune and couldn’t pick up what they were saying. As most of the plot was being told through song, that again was an issue at times. Not to mention trying to work the song out became tedious at times.
This film is not to be taken seriously. A lot of fun and a whole dash of silliness makes for an enjoyable few hours of watching though. Corden stood out as the strongest actor – mainly because he had more than one emotion to show but also due to his comedic status. He performed the mixture of emotions well.
While far from being the best film I’ve seen lately, it was enjoyable and entertaining. The first copy I received was scratched. Yet what I did manage to watch was good enough I ordered it again. Something was done right then.