I think generally the idea of these films that show the origin of famous villains were criticized with the old “who is asking for this” reason or give us something completely new instead of revisiting something. The idea of Cruella being the second Disney villain to get the prequel treatment is a surprise as she perhaps isn’t the most well known out of all the villains. You’d think that perhaps Ursula, The Evil Queen and the Queen of Hearts would be higher on the list but here we are.
Emma Stone stars as Cruella, an woman who was orphaned as a child and is looking to make her way into the fashion industry but working under the Baroness, played by Emma Thompson, who had a history with Cruella.
I was pretty skeptical of the film when it was announced, Maleficent was watchable but despite knowing the talent involved, I remember seeing the first image that Disney shared of production for this film and thinking it might just be too edgy and trying too hard, even when the trailers for the film were released, I was just as concerned as my initial thoughts were and felt like it was going to lack any punch to make it a good film. Reviews started to come out that it was good so I became more intrigued.
The real standout and the thing that makes this film special and so good is the performances by both Emma’s. Emma Stone in recent years has had a couple of Oscar Nominations (including her win for La La Land) and Emma Thompson is a legend and consistently puts in great performances and you can tell she is having a blast playing her character in this film. Another big strength of the film, which is focused heavily on the fashion industry, is the incredible costume designs, especially for some standout outfits worn by Emma Stone, an area I expect the film to get some recognition in the next award season.
I don’t have many criticisms of the film, the soundtrack features a huge 33 songs which gives it sometimes a bit of a Suicide Squad problem, where there’s some sudden changes and it felt a bit jarring for me and over the top. There is also some sudden character changes which felt like they weren’t deserved which is surprising because the film fills out it’s 2 hour 15 run time, as well as some interesting choices about how the film times into 101 Dalmations.
Overall, I enjoyed the film a lot more than I thought I was going to, some great performances really help you get through the run time.
What did you think of Cruella? Which Disney villain would you like to see have a solo origin film next?
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