REVIEW: “Cruella” is a Twist to a Disney Classic


Who doesn’t love an edgy twist on a childhood classic? Director Craig Gillespie recreated the feared and hated villain, Cruella De Vil, from Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.”

The movie starts off a little slow with the backstory of a young girl named Estella and the death of her mother. This is when Cruella’s two henchmen, Jasper and Horace, make their first appearance. Set in the late seventies, Gillespie emphasises the grunge period in the fashion world with the help of costume designer Jenny Beavan. 

Emma Stone, who is known for her roles in romantic comedies such as “Easy A,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and “La La Land,” portrays the young Disney villain seamlessly. Stone brought an edge in her acting skills that made it easy to side with her.

This film did seem to be a little more provocative than what we have seen in the past for a Disney film. The target audience is not only the younger generations, but also the older generation who grew up watching Disney classic films. 

There’s two villains in this film. Emma Thompson also portrays the evil Baroness. It almost seemed to be the battle of the Emma’s to see who is the best villain? 

Thompsons portrayal of the Baroness was scary in a fantastic way. It almost felt like the director was bringing a “Devil Wears Prada” vibe to the movie, which would mean Thompson is the British version of Meryl Streep in “Cruella.” I personally enjoyed the drama that both Thompson and Stone brought to this film. 

Stone’s ability to go from Estella to Cruella throughout the film was flawless and impressive considering the two are completely different people. Cruella, the more evil alter ego, eventually takes over creating chaos in her wake. 

Throughout the film, we see a battle between the Baroness and Cruella with fashion. Cruella’s hope is to destroy the Baroness and we have the understanding that she’s envious and wants to be her. The two characters try to upstage one another, but the Baroness doesn’t know that Cruella and Estella, her employee, are the same. 

The classic film does have elements that made an appearance in this movie including the three dalmatians that Cruella steals from the Baroness. Emma Stone completely nailed the classic laugh of Cruella De Vil. It is absolutely astonishing. Also the henchmen that Cruella runs with are a vital part of both the classic Disney film and this remake. 

Horace, one of my favorite characters in the film, stole the show. Horace is surprisingly comedic throughout the movie and caught my attention every time he appeared on screen.  

In my opinion, there was a lot more than friendship going on between Cruella and Jasper’s characters. Could there have been a secret “love” interest in the film and that’s why Jasper always went along with everything Cruella asked of the two henchmen?  

Although this remake is a cinematic success, it took way too long to get to Cruella and all the evil action that we know of her. Once the character was introduced, the action and evil scheming took over the film. 

The ending of the film reveals that it is just the beginning of Cruella and what she will become. 

No Dalmatians were harmed in the making of this film.  

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