Saturday, January 03, 2015

There was a baker and his wife

Saw Into the Woods the other day. Surprisingly good for a Disney version of a stage show that is supposedly very dark and adult in places (I heard there is even wolf-penis in the Broadway version). All of the roles are well cast and the  musical numbers are witty and fun (though many will be disturbed by Johnny Depp's Wolf singing a sexually suggestive song to a twelve year old Red Riding Hood). Sondheim purists will probably be unhappy with it as they were Sweeney Todd, but who cares about them?
The highlights include, of course, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Chris Pine as a goofy and unfaithful Prince Charming and James Corden holding it all together as the exasperated Baker. Emily Blunt is also excellent as his ill fortuned wife. While the songs may not be as memorable as other musicals, they carry the plot well. I especially liked when the two Princes humorously sing about their "agony" of being in love. While those expecting catchy songs or a typical Disney fairytale will probably be disappointed, this is inventive and thought-provoking entertainment (what happens after Happily Ever After?) for the whole family, even if it does overstay its welcome a little.