Review | 'Cruella'

Review | ‘Cruella’

Cruella is easily one of the best live-action Disney adaptations. It’s smart and creative. Emma Stone delivers a dazzling and nuanced performance!

Cruella is now in cinemas while also being available on Disney Plus via Premier Access. It’s the latest Disney movie following that day and date release due to the COVID crisis. Honestly, I think it’s the right choice for these times as it allows you to watch movies the way you want, the way you feel is safer.

That being said, let’s talk about Cruella now. I got to say that when the project was first announced, I didn’t see the point of it. But as teasers and trailers were released, it quickly grabbed my attention. Having finally watched the movie, I can say that it didn’t disappoint and I was pleasantly surprised!

THE PLOT

Have you ever wondered how did Cruella become evil? Probably not. Nevertheless, this movie answers that question but it does it beautifully. So it works. The writing team has crafted a smart and creative script with twists and turns. There is never a dull moment, this movie does exactly what it’s supposed to be doing. It’s a great origin story for such an iconic Disney villain.

To create a villain like Cruella, you need someone even more malevolent and that’s the Baroness. She is despicable and makes a formidable foe for Cruella. They look so much alike in how they act, that at times it almost feels like Cruella is fighting what she will become. It makes a nice parallel.

And don’t forget to watch the credits, not only are they glamorous, but it also features Florence + the Machine’s latest song, plus you get a mid-credits scene. It’s the perfect package. In my opinion, it’s easily the third-best live-action Disney adaptation – the first one being Beauty and the Beast and the second being Mulan.

SOUNDTRACK & VISUALS

The story takes place in the 70s and it feels like the right era for a fashion fight. It can get kitschy without it feeling out of place. The movie delightfully captures the aesthetic of that era with the costumes, the cars, and London city. It just feels like you’re there. The fashion costumes are colorful and eye-catching as you would expect while the cinematography is more somber to keep the villainous mood.

This movie is not just a treat for the eyes but it’s also a spectacle for the ears. Even for the songs, we stay in the 70s. Each song works well with the scene they’re being used for. And it just seemed obvious to have ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, after all, it’s Cruella we’re talking about!

THE CAST

As for the cast, it’s Emma Stone who is playing Cruella. Glenn Close played beautifully Cruella in 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians. You love to hate her. It’s not easy to take on a character after such a brilliant actress but Emma Stone nails it. She delivers a dazzling and nuanced performance. Throughout the movie, you can see her performance evolve from Estella to Cruella. As Estella, she gives the character some heart with a dramatic touch.  While as Cruella, she unleashes the madness. Fun fact, both actresses are executive producers on the movie.

To go against Stone, we have Emma Thompson playing the Baroness. She delivers an exceptional performance, she is deliciously evil. Both actresses were so well cast.

The other highlight of the cast is Paul Walter Hauser. In recent years, he has proven to be a great actor. He knows how to play drama like in Richard Jewell and how to play comedy like in this movie. I certainly hope that he will have a substantial career.

VERDICT

Cruella is a great origin story for such an iconic Disney villain. It’s smart and creative. Emma Stone delivers a dazzling and nuanced performance facing Emma Thompson who is deliciously evil in her role.

Disney’s Cruella is currently playing in selected theatres and on Disney Plus Premier Access. 

 

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