Of course, the movie Cruella (Craig Gillespie, 2021), from Disney Plus, this is not exactly one of those new versions of the classics of the famous animated factory in real action, but of the prequel of what could be in the future.
It should not be included, then, in the conceptual category of the correct Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton, 2010), the energetic The Jungle Book (John Favreau, 2016), the musical nonsense of the soulless Beauty and the Beast (Bill Condon, 2017), the finally consistent The Lion King, the passable Aladdin (Favreau, Guy Ritchie, 2019) or the honorable Mulan (Niki Caro, 2020). In fact, considering there was already a remake of that type on the original story, available on Disney Plus, this new film should be noted as a reboot or reboot if anything.
Why ‘Cruella’ catches the viewer
It is not surprising, in another vein, that the Mickey Mouse company has trusted the Australian Craig gillespie to direct Cruella. After the fart comedy Matter of balls, the independent Lars and a real girl (2007), with which we look at him, his six episodes of United States of Tara (Diablo Cody, 2009-2011) and the reformulation of Scary night (2011) according to the homonymous film (Tom Holland, 1985), the filmmaker had already worked for Disney in The million dollar boy (2014) and The decisive hour (2016).
But not in his work most valued by professional critics to date, the Oscar winner Me, tonya (2017). So, after three projects in a row that are based on true experiences, he has launched into a villain as iconic as Cruella de Vil.
His hard work revisitation of the character, created by the English writer Dodie Smith in her novel 101 Dalmatians (1956) and which the whole world knew for the homonymous adaptation in animated cinema (Wolfgang Reitherman, Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske, 1961) of Disney itself, enjoys a undeniable dynamism.
A virtue due to energetic visual apparatus what it looks like Cruella, with the odd sequence shot dabuten, and its powerful and strategic montage, the work of Tatiana S. Riegel, who has collaborated with Craig Gillespie in the same position since Lars and a real girl. If this doesn’t catch you even from its naive beginning, you should look again. Your cinematic experience, although it does not leave too much residue in the viewer, yeah it is enjoyed because it entertains and flies by.
Some verisimilitude issues
It is an obvious success that a good part of the plot revolves around an obsession with fashion and that dogs intervene; and that motivations and plans on robberies are developed, finish its elemental link with the original story. However, if a great but can be put to Cruella the thing is not entirely credible due to the unresolved question that has always been attributed to feature films such as Superman (Richard Donner, 1978).
Nor, to a greater extent, Estella’s evolution to its destination, diffuse and somewhat arbitrary at best. It doesn’t even seem to be consumed here Well, there is no clarity and definition about it, no matter how much the scriptwriters Dana Fox (Home Before Dark) and Tony McNamara (The Great) strive to provide a double argument support.
The two Emmas: a pair of charismatic actresses
The soundtrack of Nicholas Britell (Succession) it shows discreet but effective. Same as the cast of secondary from Cruella, in which Joel Fry (Game of Thrones) and Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell) as Jasper and Horace, Emily Beecham (Into the badlands) as Catherine, Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) and Andrew Leung (Lilting) as John, the valet, and Jeffrey, John McCrea (Land of god) by Artie and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Barry) and Kayvan Novak (What we do in the shadows) as Roger and Anita Darling accompany a pair of formidable actresses.
The charisma they give off the two namesakes, Emma Stone (Birdman) and Emma Thompson (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), embodying Cruella and the Baroness seems unquestionable. Above all, that of the veteran interpreter.
We do not know if the work of the protagonist will overshadow that of the colossal Glenn Close —Here, executive producer— as Cruella de Vil herself in 101 Dalmatians (Stephen Herek, 1996) and its continuation (Kevin Lima, 2000), two films that are regrettable in themselves without the need to compare them with the very decent by Craig Gillespie. But viewers will be able to form their own opinion on that in the platform from Disney Plus.
Cruella, starring Emma Stone, follows the first steps of one of the most infamous and elegant villains in cinema.