I Faced My Fear Of Cruella De Vil: Cruella (2021) Second Take Review (Written By Jaeden Noel)


This piece will be more of an after thoughts blurb than a review. Our wonderful writer Anna Miller has published a wonderfully in-depth review of Disney's newest live-action flick "Cruella" which can be found here!  "Cruella" is the origin story of the devilish Icon Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians). Also known as, the one character who terrorized a pre-kindy Jaeden Noel. On a 2003 night, the odds of a 2-year-old me having a nightmare of Glenn Close's rendition of De Vil was likely keeping awake thinking she was going to kidnap me. 

But here we are, almost twenty years later. Just as I've matured Disney clearly has also. This time around, Emma Stone stars as the femme fatale Cruella De Vil on her journey from outcast to icon in the sweet Punk Rock era of London. It is safe to say that "Cruella" takes a spin on one of Disney's "goofier" villain icons and flips it upside down with an authentic, badass, and truly impressive look at how great Disney can be with these live-action films. 

Before we dive deeper into the nitty-gritty, I simply have to give Disney all the credit in the world. "Cruella" is much more than a by-the-books live-action Disney movie. If there was a Joker for kids, this would be it. If there was an Oceans 8 for kids, this would be it. I would even go as far as to call this The Devil Wears Prada for kids. The atmosphere that Cruella immediately brings to the table is quite impressive. With most live-action films from the mouse house, they are marketed as darker & more mature than their animated predecessor but never provide on that promise. Here, however, those tones and thematic elements are served to the viewer with a golden spoon, making it likable for virtually anyone of any age. The London backdrop was also executed perfectly. Playing on the sex pistols era of London, the blend of that and De Vil makes for one pleasing aesthetic. 

The important question remains, is it any good? Absolutely. Cruella's intricate and in-depth screenplay allows for the film to flourish. Cruella's character development is done effortlessly. With a near 2.5 hour runtime, we watch Cruella develop her motifs while seeing her at her highest and also her lowest. Emma stone absolutely crushes her performance as De Vil. We really get to see a side of her that we haven't really got to see before, her anti-hero side. Perhaps this will open up more doors to see her in more villain or hero-oriented films. Emma Thompson as Baroness, the enemy of De Vil was also amazing. Easily one of the more disturbing villains in a Disney film, we the viewers get to truly pick apart her psyche to uncover a vain, selfish, narcissist, who will stop at anything to regin the number 1 fashion icon. 

Cruella is genuinely funny when it wants to be too. Of course, it still has its goofy moments that will appeal to the youngest of the young, but it never gets to a point to where it loses it's gritty steam. I really hope Disney continues in this direction expanding on their properties in more mature ways that would appeal to the ones who grew up watching them (or in my case terrified of them). 

At the end of the day, Cruella will satisfy those looking for a great dark revenge story but also those who want some good old Disney fun.

Cruella gets a 4/5!


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