Review

Call Me by Your Name – Twitter Book Review

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Read “Call Me by Your Name” and I was frustrated. At the start it was just another gay romance being about how characters don’t even get to enjoy the romance.

I did a live-tweet reaction to the book which I will post here:

After finish reading Call Me By Your Name, I realized that it was a beautiful piece of text. Plot got iffy in the middle but the way it was written was beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.

Loved the touch of melancholy and “the better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” thing was sweet. I still am tired of this type of narrative though…where all queer men just get unhappy endings but Aciman gets a pass because the story that he told was beautifully done.

At least no one died for the romance to end. It was just life.

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Film adaptation review: http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/call-me-by-your-name-review-1201966646/

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Power Rangers – Movie Review

Plot: Five teens unwittingly find themselves tasked with defending the universe when they inadvertently unlock the powers of a spaceship buried for thirty five million years.

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Review:

Go Go Power Rangers! Talk about a Mighty Morphing time had at the movies.
I was fortunate enough to attend the press screening, and I say fortunate because my scheduled so packed that day that it was miracle that I got to the screening.
The new Power Rangers film is better than it had any right to be, and it is such a fun experience.
I was a big fan of the Power Rangers when I was younger and I tried to watch it as often as what I could. Unfortunately I missed out a few seasons, but whenever it was on, I would repeatedly find myself sitting in front of the TV getting caught up in the action, the angst and difficulty in being teenage superheroes.

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The new movie hits on all of those notes, but does so in a modern way.
The new era of Power Rangers aren’t goody two shoes, but rather good-hearted kids who make mistakes and aren’t always perfect. They make mistakes and have challenging home lives or facing challenges that they can’t speak openly about.
By removing the squeaky clean image of what we knew about the Power Rangers, it automatically gave the writers the ability to craft three dimensional characters, and for them to have done that with almost all of the Rangers in such a short time is a massive achievement.

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The film took risks in terms of character portrayals, and plot points, and witnessing that was exciting as a viewer as it gave the film a sense of individuality.
What I really enjoyed about the film is that when the Rangers do come together initially, it’s a coincidence, and felt natural. These are a group of teenagers who have detention together, and forcing them to become friends and bond too soon would have felt ingenuous but instead the movie uses that as a plot point.trinipowerrangers

Also what added to my enjoyment of the film was the use of a diverse cast, which was really something to behold. So many young children will get to see themselves represented as heroes on the screen and that is so exciting.

Not only that, but also children who differ from the norm. I would go into more details here, but I don’t want to reveal anything because part of the fun was discovering it for the first time on the screen without it being spoiled.

Elizabeth Banks was so good as Rita Repulsa, and I will confirm the theory that she was originally the green who then went bad.

This fact is revealed within the first few minutes of the film, and honestly it adds a wonderful dimension to her villain knowing that she used to be one of the good guys.

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POWER RANGERS (2017) Trini the Yellow Ranger (Becky G) and Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks)

Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader were really entertaining as Zordon and Alpha 5 respectfully. While Hader’s character is for comedic effect, Cranston’s character, Zordon, is a little more serious.

His character was originally this wise advice giving computer in the series however in the movie he is far more interesting with a intricate back-story. His motives are not without thought.

One of the reasons the movie is so good is because it knows how silly and outlandish the plot is, and doesn’t try to take itself too serious. The film knows exactly what it is, and in doing so, it allows itself to really play up its cheesy aspects.

The comedy in the film works so well. It really helps the movie not get too bogged down in the seriousness.

The movie isn’t without its flaws – the look of Goldar was seen within the trailer isn’t perfect with the monster that the rangers have to battle being a faceless villain.

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Also the scenes where the rangers are battling Rita’s Putty’s for the first time use a lot of CGI, and my only gripe is that the fighting scenes could have been made to look more practical.

Given that fight scenes in films are evolving and we’re getting better action, it means that we often now judge action scenes while having seen better. While not bad, they could have put in more effort.

If you’ve seen the gritty fan film, then you will also notice a few similarities which aren’t a bad thing. It definitely gives better understanding as to why there were plans for a lawsuit against that film.

The Power Rangers movie knows exactly when to pay homage to its original history with the theme song and catch phrases being used are moments when they can pack the biggest punch, and have those of us who grew up with the Power Rangers geeking out.

The new Power Rangers movie is a definite must see, it is fun, humorous and tells a story worth being seen, especially if you are a fan of the original series.

There is a mid-credits scene which is worth sticking around for, and it definitely sets up the introduction for the sequel, which I hope there will be. This movie is really fun and enjoyable that it deserves a sequel.

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Lionsgate/Summit took the time to properly setup the first film, and with alleged six film movie plan in place, it makes sense. So long as they keep taking risks and pushing the story into new territory without going overboard like the Transformer movie series did, then I’m certainly going to be coming back and repeatedly watch these films.

Theo. Over and Out

An Acquired Taste you’ll never forget – Part 1

Twitter is a weird and wonderful place.

You never know who you’ll met or why but it is pretty amazing what can happen on the social network…which is where I met Shameez Patel Papathanasiou.

I’d seen her tweet a few times with a few of my twitter favourites and soon enough followed her. She followed back and then over the course of a few months we became acquainted with each other.

I was scrolling through my twitter feed when I saw Shameez retweet (which means shared) a picture of a book someone had just received with her name on it. I was surprised because from out previous interactions I had never realised that she had written a book.

As someone who has unofficially written three books (its complicated), and has been itching to get one of these published. I decided that I wanted to meet her, also what better way to get to know someone than read their book.

We tweeted that we would meet up, and two weeks later when our schedules had cleared up, we met for coffee.

It is always meeting someone who you know online, but I had not known Shameez well enough so I didn’t have too many preconceived ideas about who she was. Meet her was like going on a date, but with less anxiety.

I did get lost on my way to the coffee meeting. I was very late actually so we didn’t get to chat properly but it was really cool. We were both a bit shy, and she had rightfully come with a colleague who made sure that she wasn’t meeting a creeper or anything.

Shameez did tell me a funny story though about how her husband was freaking out about our meeting because she was meeting a stranger from the internet. Stranger danger and all that…img_20161028_132836

We still joke about this actually.  Hi Shameez’s Husband…

After our meeting, not only did I walk away with a copy of her book, I walked away having made a new friend with someone who is too legit.

I couldn’t start reading the book immediately however because work was very busy and I was still in the middle of another book.

I’m embarrassed to admit that about almost a month after Shameez had handed me a copy of “An Acquired Taste” I finally started reading the book.

I was touched when I opened the first page and I came across this lovely had written message:

“@TheLionMutters
Thank you for the support. I wish you luck on your upcoming novel and thank you for your enjoyable tweets.
Hope you like it.”
– Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

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The story that she had crafted was one that took it’s time pulling you into the world, but when you were pulled and then it was a journey. The first one hundred pages were slowly plotted and I took my time casually reading the story, which I really enjoyed.

I was really planning to leisurely read the book but the more I read the book, the less likely that appeared to happen.

On a Saturday morning, all I did was read “An Acquired Taste” and the story had pulled me in so quickly that I finished it on the Monday.

I won’t be writing a traditional review about the book but instead, I was fortunate enough to score an exclusive interview with the author herself.

An Acquired Taste is not the novel you think it is, and that is a wonderful surprise. It tells a story that hits you hard, catches you off guard and will leave you with a lot of thoughts and feelings to process.

As a preview for my interview with Shameez Patel Papathanasiou, read an extract of it below:

I have always enjoyed writing and reading. Since I was a child I started writing novels, most of them left unfinished as I was quickly distracted by anything and everything.

In my final year, I was writing a thesis and planning a wedding. I needed an outlet, I needed to write something other than how bus schedules affect traffic and that was when ‘An Acquired Taste’ was born. I wrote something I wanted to write, something I wanted to read.

If that teaser has you scratching your head about why Shameez would be writing about bus schedules that affect traffic in the first place, you should definitely check back here to find out how that played a factor with her book, “An Acquired Taste”.

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You can find the book on these channels:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shameez-Patel-Papathanasiou/e/B019NDAQ9O

Loot: http://www.loot.co.za/product/shameez-patel-papathanasiou-an-acquired-taste/dhmg-3597-g990

My Website: http://shameez.co.za/

Sense 8: The must see show…


I recently completed watching a show called “Sense 8” which is from the Wachowski siblings who brought us “Matrix”, “Jupiter Ascending”, and “Cloud Atlas” to name a few.  They are type of directors who don’t just want to reproduce the same old thing for people to consume and come up with an inventive and imaginative way to tell a story.

Their work doesn’t always connect with some people though, which is why the siblings have recently taken the route that many blockbuster directors who have had recent bombs do –go to TV.
It worked very well for M. Night Shyamalan who after bombing with After Earth turned to TV and struck gold with his TV show “Wayward Pines” (which I strongly recommend you binge watch because the story is just so compelling).
Getting back on track, basically the Wachowskis realised that the movie format wasn’t working for them and so they went to Netflix to try telling their imaginative stories.
In my opinion, this was a damn brilliant decision.

Sense 8, which the Wachowski siblings executive produce alongside J.Michael Straczynski, telling the stories of 8 strangers from across the globe who become connected to each other.

As viewer, you embark on a 12 episode journey with these characters and each of their narratives as they help, console and teach each other.  They have to learn how to cope with being able to have access to the knowledge, emotions, feelings and senses of 7 other people.



I have compiled a list of reasons why more people should be watching Sense 8. I am not going to lie that if you want something that will give you all the answers from episode one then you might struggle watching the show. The show takes the first half of the season building the relationships with each of the characters and establishing their own lives (which is no small feat). By the time the action gets rolling, you really feel connected to their story and your investment is rewarded.


  1. Stereotypical Race Representation
The show delivers characters who you have seen across a few TV shows but never in one show, never mind them even interacting with each other. The show includes characters from America, Korea, Iceland, India, Mexico, Kenya and Germany.  The cast varies in nationality, skin colour and language. The show tries, and succeeds to break down the stereotypes of characters that we usually see. You have a representation of Nairobi (Kenya) that depicts not only how gang dominated the country is, but also how complicated the characters that live there are.
They aren’t just stereotypes that we see on screen but rather people living complicated lives. The same goes for the Korean character, Sun. 

Sun is working in a pharmaceutical firm run by her father and brother. You see that she smokes and she is not scared to beat someone’s ass, but yet, she sacrifices her freedom to protect her brother. Their narratives are something we would never typically see in an American produced TV show, never mind the fact that these characters even interact with each other.

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  1. Unlikely Character Interactions
Sun (from Korea) interacts not only with Capheus (from Kenya) but also Kala (India), Lito (Mexico) and Riley (Iceland). This is just how one character interacts with characters from across the globe within the show. Each character gets to “visit” (as the show calls it) the others sometime throughout the span of the 12 episodes, and as a viewer it is a joy to witness. Interactions between characters of colour or interactions with characters of different nationalities (that you would never typically see happen) occur frequently on Sense 8.  This show doesn’t just do it to be a gimmick, but does it to tell a story, with exciting outcomes. As a viewer of colour from South Africa, I appreciate seeing someone like Capheus and his best friend interacting on screen because while I might not be from Kenya, there are some bits of their story that I as an African can relate to.

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  1. Interconnectedness
Sense 8 succeeds for me because it deals with how interconnected we are.  We all want to believe that there is someone out there in the world that can relate to us, be it romantically or just another person.
Sense 8 takes that ideal and transcends it.  Two of the characters sometimes are dealing with the same emotion in a different way but the show puts them together and when you witness how they learn from each other and are talking about their various challenges it is becomes captivating.
Sometimes someone close to you could be going through something that you went through already, and since you might know exactly how they feel, you can still relate to them. Sense 8 excels in this regard.
One of my favourite sequence’s comes from episode 4 where the Sense 8’s are singing What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes. They all share the experiences but in a very different way. Some happy, some sad, and one being drunk, but it just works in depicting how interconnected they are to each other.

There is some dialogue that Kala says in episode 7 that I just love because of how it describes their connection:
If I was trying to describe this feeling – the sensation of experiencing the  warmth of the sun, the smell of jasmine and marigold; while at the same time being soaked by a downpour at an outdoor cafe. Taste of strong coffee still in my mouth…I would say the word miracle sounds particularly appropriate. Wouldn’t you?”

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  1. Queerness
The show also impresses me for how it fearlessly tackles LGBT themes, which I adore. Lito is a closeted telenova star living with his boyfriend Hernando. Nomi is a transgendered woman who has been with her girlfriend for a long time. Sense 8 doesn’t just have one LGBT character to fill some type of quota, but rather it has two whose stories are depicted equally as those of the heterosexual characters on the show. Sense 8 shows that LGBT live lives full of love, struggle and heartache. It is a complex depiction of the lives of those with the LGBT community that don’t fit into any particular mould.

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  1. Sexuality
Sexuality is EXTREMELY apparent in this show. We see the transgendered woman making love to her girlfriend within the first episode of the show, but it is really in episode 6 where this particular aspect of the show takes off because it does this to show how connected the Sense 8’s are. When two of the Sense 8’s simultaneously happen to be having sex, and another is feeling horny, it ended up having a ripple effect which the show handles by showing some of the Sense8’s engaged in not an orgy. But an orgy that is simultaneously taking place in Germany, Mexico and USA, all while none of them are in the same place. It is less trippy than what it sounds. They feel each other’s pleasure to such an extent, one of the Sense 8’s who is in America orgasms while working out but another Sense 8 in Mexico exclaims that “I just had one the best orgasms of my life.” It is really just a spectacle to watch, and it is really enjoyable to watch because you understand their connection to each other in a way that you may not have before.

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  1. Religion/Science


The show does not shy away from show religion either. Kala in India is shown to be a scientist who is also a devout Hindu. We are often shown scenes in which Kala prays to the Ganesha (a Hindu god) to help her with a particular problem that she is seeking clarification on. It is refreshing and as someone who knows very little about the Hindu religion, it is extremely exciting and engaging to watch.


In episode 7 she says:


My love for science doesn’t preclude my faith. For me, science is another language we use to talk about the same miracle that faith talks about.”


Also with the whole idea of 8 people being connected, the show deals with how it has an impact on science. The Sense 8’s are suggested to be another form of homosapien, and it goes onto much further elaboration than I will here. The show isn’t pitting these two sectors against each other but rather, allowing them to work in cohesion with one another as it pushes the seasonal arc forward.


  1. Romances


The show has the longstanding relation between Nomi/Amanita at the start, and the reason why their relationship is engaging because you see a gay woman of colour in a long term relationship with a white transgendered woman; Lito and his boyfriend Hernando are the two Mexican gay men also committed to each other. The show then has the romance of Riley (the DJ from Iceland) and Will (the police officer from USA), in the fore front driving the story following their newfound connection. Their story has major consequences for the plot and is lovely to watch.

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Kala’s romance saga proved to be equally exciting for me as you have an Indian woman who is about to get married to a guy who is perfect for her, but can’t help falling in love with the German diamond thief (who enjoys being naked) but also has a heart of gold. I loved becoming engrossed in their love story because they represent two people who couldn’t be more different from each, yet can’t help taking a liking to each other.


  1. Flaws


Of course like any show, Sense 8 is not without its flaws. Sometimes throughout the show the 12 episodes does feels like a limit given that if the show had more time, they may have been able to flesh out the connections a bit more. There’s also one or two times when Sense 8’s who have never met, take to meeting each other without much fanfare, and like it’s no big deal.


Maybe the show could be saying that some of the Sense 8 took to their newfound connection to strangers with ease, but that seems like a stretch. Sure we do meet some people who feel like we have known them forever but sharing thoughts and feelings with them would at least be a “WTF” moment regardless of who you are.


The villain of show also needed to be more 3 dimensional and less like a guy who wants to just kill them. Hopefully the second season of the show will get into giving the villain a substantial expansion if we are to truly feel threatened for the Sense 8’s. What made him want to kill the Sense 8’s? Power? Control? Or Scientific reasons?


The show did a good job of interweaving of the stories of the Sense 8’s but they could be handled better. On occasion when watching it does feel like the show is struggling to find a way to connect the characters but for the most part, it does well.


Some people have complained about how the show excluded some of the non-white characters from the orgy scene. However this may have been a scheduling issue or logistics. The show films across the globe and as a result, they may not have had all the actors present and available at all times. Perhaps not everyone was available to shoot the orgy scene, or opted out of being the scene for personal reasons but this seems like a minor flaw given how the show is doing more for representation of non-white heterosexual characters than almost half the TV shows from America these days.



Despite its flaws, Sense 8 is a show the likes of which is hardly if ever seen. I finally get to see complex characters of colour and sexuality and not just the typical white characters that are so often fed to us from Hollywood.

I strongly encourage each and everyone to give the first 6 episodes a watch. If after that you aren’t feeling the show, then at least you tried.
As for me, I will impatiently wait for season 2 to find out more of the story about these interesting and never before seen 8 characters.

I hope that Season 2 stays focused on these 8 characters and not want to introduce too much too soon.


Theo Over and Out.


PS – Here is the trailer to Wayward Pines if you are interested. (BUT ONLY AFTER SENSE 8 !!!!!)

Troye Sivan – "Wild" Review

South Africans most commonly know Troye Sivan as the star of the Spud movies, however, Sivan has now made a name for himself as an artist to watch out for following the release of his EP “Wild”.

Last year marked the release of his debut EP “TRXYE” (pronounced as T-R-X-Y-E) where Sivan showcased his ability to sing, but “Wild” is truly where he comes into his own, establishing that while he may be a pop artist, he truly has sound that is his own.

The titular song “Wild” is the most pop sounding song from Sivan,  that allows him to use the rougher texture to his voice, while still crafting a song that doesn’t lack energy.  Songs like “Bite”, “Fools” and “The Quiet” really highlight the artist that Sivan is. These songs sit in the sweet spot of his voice, which really allows him to play with the melodies and show various sides to his voice.

The Youtube star may be known for doing comedic and silly antics online, but when it comes to his music, it is something he takes seriously.

The collaborations he does on the EP help Sivan play with his sound. “Ease” featuring Broods, an New Zealand duo, really stands out on the EP as the voices of Sivan and Broods complement each other on the track- a definite stand out. “DKLA” featuring rap artist Tkay Maidza, brings a darker edge of Sivan to the fore, and it doesn’t feel trivial or misplaced at all on the EP.

1. Wild

2. Bite


3. Fools


4. Ease ft Broods


5. The Quiet


6. DKLA ft Tkay Maidza

The 6 song EP solidifies Sivan as an electro/synth pop artist, and with stars like Taylor Swift and Sam Smith among those who are fans, the South-African born Australian songwriter will be selling out his own worldwide tour soon enough.

He is set to be releasing a full-length album later this year or early next year.

Book Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

I’ll Give You The Sun

By Jandy Nelson
So when I was out my friend, initially wanted to get myself the new Adam Lambert album and because the music store didn’t have the album in stock, I decided I would go get a book instead.

I had planned to get the Robbie Rogers autobiography but I decided that I needed something light because it had been a while since I actually bought a hard copy novel and read it. Also I am a Young Adult person, which at age 22/23 I am not ashamed to admit. 

I feel like I will move on to “adult” books when the time is right but for now I am content reading Young Adult fiction.

Anyhow, getting back to the novel that I want to speak about:
It was really a delightful read.

I had planned to take my time with this book but then I got sucked into it and within three days of starting it, I finished it. 

Here is the plot description:

Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. 
Now they are barely speaking – and both falling for boys they can’t have. 
Love’s complicated.” 
The novel tells the story of Jude and Noah in a split narrative.

Noah’s part of the story is told between the ages of 13-14, while Jude’s is told at age 16.

Noah and Jude are fraternal twins, who are inseparable but over the course of the novel they let jealousy and their own emotional difficulties push them further and further apart from each other.
One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because it manages to make both Jude and Noah’s perspectives of the story interesting.
Personally, I am always concerned about when authors tell the same story from a different character because it can be very boring to the reader, but Jude’s was interesting and I became invested in her story.

Another thing in terms of structure that I really enjoyed was that the novels follows the three act structure building towards a climax  but the time/age gap between their two perspectives is what made it so interesting.



There were so issues with the book that others online readers pointed out:

  1. Oscar being this young adult bad boy trope who then manages to get “saved/fixed of his emotional issues” because of his love for one of the characters.
  2. Zephur who gets reduced to being thrown into this bad guy role and made to be viewed negatively when there wasn’t enough evidence to make it believable why he would be relegated to that role.
  3. The unnecessary delay of resolution because it adds to the drama and tension. As a writer, I understand why writers have their characters avoid certain discussions because it adds tension to the story, but we live in an age where readers are getting tired of this device and see it as lazy writing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – I think that while a certain amount of tension can be necessary, if your characters are not having a discussion (which they need to have with each other) only because you don’t want them to, then you have a problem and need to find another narratively logical justification for characters not speaking to each other.
  4. The twin’s father subplot being erratically dealt with. This is something that I felt was an issue because this subplot was dealt with okay but could have been handled better to have the ultimate resolution feel that much more earned.
  5. Noah’s narrative was made to feel a little immature. I understand that there had to be a separation and distinct difference in his characterisation at different ages, but he came off feeling a little too petty at times. 



Outside of this, I really enjoyed the deconstruction of the kids’ mother because so often we idealise out parents and in this novel, Jandy Nelson manages to deconstruct the twins’ parents (more their mother) in a very interesting way.

Every person has that moment when your parent is no longer this perfect person that you idolise but rather someone who you love, that also has their flaws and makes their own mistakes.

I loved that after the resolution of the climax the novel didn’t just end, it gave you time to process that we were reaching an ending. So often I find myself frustrated with how many novels don’t succinctly enough resolve the novel. You reach the end feeling like you had to jump over a ditch instead of the ditch being filled.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I know that eventually I will be reading the book again because of how everything managed to tie together.



I think part of my enjoyment came from the fact that I imagined these characters being slightly older than they are, which in some way may be a issue because it speaks to how Young Adult books a written where these young kids feel wise beyond their years, and can be unbelievable for some.
I enjoyed that they felt older than what their characters were. I only realised this after finishing the novel that when I kept imaging Noah as 16 when was 13, and then when Jude is telling her side of their narrative at age 16, I pictured them as 18 if that makes sense.



In summation though, you should make up your own mind about this lovely story.

I will give this an 8/10 because I thoroughly enjoyed it.



I do tend to skew my opinions of things in a more optimistic way because I enjoy something for what it is rather than actively find fault. 

I really hope that you at least take the time to give this book a try. If you don’t like it then at least you tried, if you do then welcome to the club.



Theo over and Out.
PS – Here is my favourite extract from the book: 

Love does as it undoes. It goes after with equal tenacity: joy and heartbreak.”
– (I’ll Give You The Sun, pg 412)

I really loved the use of metaphor in the book, it did colour in the world more and just felt natural instead of planted in and shoved in for the sake of it.

Author : Jandy Nelson

Review: Into The Woods



Plot:
Based off the 1987 musical of the same name, INTO THE WOODS brings several fairy tales – Including Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk – to life in an ambitious musical.
Review:
Not every fairy tale has a happy ending… and in the case of Into the Woods, that is pretty much what the message of the film is. Into the Woods is a very interesting musical, which manages to mix the tales of well known fairy tales in a fun and unpredictable way.
The way that the intertwining stories play out in the film is not what we’ve become familiar with when it comes to fairy tales, and that fact is what makes Into the Woodsexciting. It delivers a refreshing take on the fairy tale trope by turning the stories on its head. I can’t speak to the authenticity of the adaption from the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine stage musical but as a first timer watching the story, the film does deliver an engaging story.
Director Rob Marshall, of Chicago fame, does a great job at directing the movie. He puts his expertise at handling musicals to great use as he never lets the story get bogged down by the musical sequences. The movie does however have issues with the tone, as the director struggles to strike a balance between the comedic and dramatic moments.
I noticed that a few humorous bits landed awkwardly and could have been executed better. The director does succeed at some points but then loses it again. One of the moments that the film achieves this balance perfectly is in the musical sequence Agony sung by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen.
The two men really excel and deliver a super vocal performance in the song with each playing their roles to perfection throughout the musical sequence. Chris Pine really delivers in the role of Prince Charming, and you can’t help but fall for his character’s charm. He thrived at playing the cheesiness and melodramatic nature of the role, and the performance in the song is proof of that. Billy Magnussen doesn’t allow Pine to steal all the glory, also getting his chance to shine in the sequence.
The rest of the cast was absolutely lovely. Emily Blunt, who I had no clue possessed such a lovely voice, was stunning in the role of Baker’s Wife. I fell in love with James Corden as the Baker who shoulders most of the movie. He carried the role in such an endearing way that it is difficult not to empathise with the journey of these two characters.
It’s not needed to say but Meryl Streep is Queen, no matter the role, and in her role as The Witch she doesn’t disappoint. She shows off the different layers to her character never really settling in one stereotype or another Anna Kendrick who has immense Broadway credentials really shows off her vocal talents in the role of Cinderella. John Depp’s role is short lived in the movie but he really does an impressive job too. The two young actors playing Red Riding Hood and Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) manage to impressively hold their own against the older cast members.
If anything is clear from the movie, it is that Marshall really demands that the actors put their all into the role. Into the Woods is not your typical musical where songs play out like a track heard on the radio. Sometimes the musical sequences are interrupted by dialogue and the actors really get to perform the songs, not just sing them. Marshall gives the actors the ability to pick their moments. Anna Kendrick revealed that there was a mixture of live-sung and studio recorded performances used in the movie. You can really tell that it makes a difference as the movie allows the musical sequences to some plot points forward. Songs are not just sung to interrupt the flow of the movie, but instead to progress the plot along.
Overall Into the Woodsis quite the enjoyable film and if you love your movie musicals then this one is a definite must see.

Rating: 7/10