Author Topic: CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians  (Read 156 times)

Offline perc2100

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CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians
« on: June 24, 2021, 03:32:16 PM »
CREULLA would be a joy to watch if Disney didn't have to tie it into an origin story to a woman obsessed with murdering puppies.  If this were simply a fun story of a mischievous orphan, while criming w/her street friends to survive in London, and becomes the Banksy of the fashion world while clashing with a world-famous designer I think this would be a home run.  The acting is all solid, with the title character played by Emma Stone and her fashion adversary played by Emma Thompson being true standouts.  But five credited screenwriters can be the tell-tale sign of a story problem, and that is absolutely the case here.

The film sets up our two main characters with maybe the most laughable villain origin story I've ever seen: and as someone who has read a TON of comic books over the years, that's saying something.  Obviously the writers were tasked with doing _something_ that makes our dog-hating villain of 101 DALMATIANS have motivation for wanting to skin 100 dogs for their fur, and since the five writers didn't want to ripoff the (brilliant) "The Simpsons" episode that featured town bad guy Mr. Burns merely wanting to make a greyhound-fur tuxedo (complete with an absolutely fabulous musical number), I suppose the writers have to come up with some way to make Cruella at least somewhat sympathetic.  To be blunt, the version that answers "why" that made the final script makes me REALLT want to know what other ideas they had that simply weren't good enough.

That all being said, Emma Stone commits 100% into the angsty criminal/fashion guru star that rocks the fashion world with her off-the-wall designs with her alter ego of "Cruella" (real name Estella).  She starts her career catching the attention of Emma Thompson's The Baroness fashion design goddess and creating ideas; Estella is one of the few designers that can meet The Baroness' high standards of fashion.  Estella realizes The Baroness is wearing a necklace that belonged to her mom (whom we see murdered by Dalmatians under the control of the heretofore unknown The Baroness' dog whistle), and takes revenge by creating an utter ego named Cruella that rocks The Baroness' fashion world.

It's a fun story: under different hands it may be a slightly darker/more fun version of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA with the two female leads here being just as fun as the two in PRADA.  I enjoyed it up until the writers had to cram 101 DALMATIANS connective tissue into the film.  Emma Stone really is a joy to watch as both versions of her character, and Emma Thompson seems to relish playing the villain w/out ever going too over-the-top.  Both Cruella's The Baroness' partners-in-crime are capable, and definitely fit the Disney mold of "animated characters come-to-life."  The direction by Craig Gillespie is good for the most part, though there are some wonky special FX (at times it looks obvious to me that the characters are acting/doing stunts in front of a green screen: for example, during a chase on a rooftop).

I tried to like this film, and at times I was legit into the plot that teetered between origin story of revenge + fashionista rising star.  It's hard not to think, though: "who the heck is this film made for - like, who's clamoring for the origin story of a puppy murderer?!" and it's unfortunate that the story at times gets bogged down having to service Disney's intellectual property.  I would love to see this same film minus all mention of Dalmatians and whatnot: but as it stands, we have a film that's just good enough to annoy me that it's not better.  My six year old put it best when I asked him if he liked the movie; his reply was a simple, succinct, "it was fine."  No more, no less.

Offline TardisMom

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Re: CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2021, 08:54:12 AM »
I really liked the movie!  The fashion, the action!  I get what you're saying, but I guess I saw it as a completely separate story from 101 Dalmations, kinda like I don't compare Wicked to the Wizard of Oz books or movie.  I mean, Elphaba is fantastic!  But she also is a mean witch.  At the end of Cruella my daughter and I talked about how happy we were the dogs weren't a main focus and we didn't need to worry about them.

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Re: CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians
« Reply #2 on: Today at 01:14:35 AM »

Offline stl_ben

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Re: CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2021, 11:26:26 AM »
Has Cruella actually ever killed a dog in any movie?
Attempted dog murder at best.

Offline justboogie

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Re: CRUELLA - a fun movie if you can ignore 101 Dalmatians
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2021, 07:45:58 AM »
I saw this movie last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a good mixture of fashion and heist while setting up for a sequel, possibly right into the 101 Dalmations.
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