Into the Woods is fun, exciting, and catchy. I found myself rooting for the beloved characters as well as shaming the naughty ones throughout the film.

Into the Woods is an adaptation of James Lapin and Stephen Sondheim’s award winning Broadway musical of the same name. In film form Into the Woods stars Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine as the inhabitants of the village outside of the dark and mysterious woods. We meet the characters concurrently as they all are given a reason to enter the woods in order to better their lives in some way.

Anyone familiar with the Brother’s Grimm fairy tales will most certainly be satisfied with the portrayals by Streep as the harrowing witch with a secret to hide and Kendrick as the runaway Cinderella. Pine as the Prince however is unbefitting and unbelievable. When he started his solo I couldn’t help but get caught up in whether he played Kirk or the Human Torch.

Into the Woods, while following the story arcs we are familiar with, also takes interesting twists and turns. It builds a deeper connection with it’s characters and makes watching Once Upon a Time feel like a kids play.

There were, however, parts where the movie felt rushed. Rapunzel is kept in a tower but the Witch seems to treat her like her own daughter. Their relationship is inferred, not explained, and I couldn’t help but wonder why Rapunzel was didn’t get bothered about being locked in a tower prior to the giant’s invasion. Also, for Cinderella to continuously run from the prince, leave her slipper behind only to be found out that same night seemed like a waste of time. And while Depp seems like a lead in the film’s previews, he’s only around for five minutes.

Musicals are probably less frequently turned into film because for a film, you need background information. Most of us are only somewhat familiar with the Brother’s Grimm tales from having read them at a young age, the true nature and history behind each character is a mystery. In comparison, enjoyment of a Broadway show is more about the theatrics than the actual plot.

Overall Into the Woods isn’t what I expected it to be. Cinematically it felt realistic, the CGI was used sparingly and the actors stayed away from the dramatics. The best parts being Streep’s classic facial expressions and James Corden’s quick and sly remarks.

After watching the spectacular job done in Into the Woods, I can’t help but get excited about a possible Wicked film! If it’s anything like this film, many will be pleased.

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