The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Waiting for Intermission: Review of "Into the Woods" and "Wild"


“Into the Woods”

The only message that is expressed in the musical “Into the Woods” is that a wish can take you to an exciting new life, where all your dreams come true. Combing the imagination of Rob Marshall, the creative genius James Lapine (author of the book “Into the Woods”), and just a spoonful of Disney magic, “Into the Woods,” reignites our childhood memories of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

Tales such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood are all intertwined with the original story of a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), who have to set out to collect a series of strange items for a magical potion in order to lift the curse that a witch (Meryl Streep, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Into the Woods”) has placed on their house. Does wishing with all your heart truly make it a happily ever after?

I was surprisingly enchanted by the creative vision of the film. Musicals that carry their own weight for the audience are not usually viewed as being very original on the big screen. However, Rob Marshall managed to keep the audience involved in the film without changing the music and lyrics created by Stephen Sondheim.

I always felt that the musical had a stronger sense of reality than most, answering all of my questions as to why the characters did things that even a child would question. Why would Cinderella stay in a house where she was bullied? What would possess a little girl to talk to a (clearly dangerous) wolf? And how daft do you have to be to trade your best friend for a couple of beans?

While the musical has always been one of my favorites, the film made me feel like I was watching the story again for the first time. A wish, leading to a story about young (confused) love, angry giants, charming princes, and a ferocious wolf can all just be the result of stepping into the woods.

Rating: 4/5


Another trip to the theater over the long break took me on another movie journey into nature: “Wild,” directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. Based on the book and real life events of Cheryl Strayed’s life, “Wild” tells the story of a young woman’s journey to find redemption.

After the death of her mother, Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in “Wild”) finds herself at a crossroads, taking a very dark turn that leads to a heartbreaking divorce and a rocky relationship with her brother. After a very harsh look at herself, Cheryl decides to take the 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

At first, I didn’t want to see the film. I thought it might have been just about hiking and how you should be able to move on with your life after a loved one leaves you. With this in mind, I could not have predicted how emotionally involved I would become with Strayed.

With every mile she conquered, I got a closer look into what her mother meant to her. Her mother (Laura Dern, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Wild”) was the sole model for strength, courage, and survival for Cheryl. Every step that Cheryl took meant a deeper look into what the trail meant for her.

Cheryl wasn’t looking for forgiveness from her failed marriage, nor was she looking for a chance to fix things with her brother. Cheryl was trying to forgive herself.  There is a time where the film brings the audience’s attention to the anger Cheryl felt towards her mother, but the scene only explained why she was on the trail in the first place. The reason Cheryl wanted to finish her painful journey was because she needed to be able to convince herself that she could (literally) walk on her own two feet.

Rating: 5/5

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