Cruella Movie Review: Emma Stone Shoots a Harley Quinn in Dull Disney Prequel | Hollywood


An excessive and unnecessary waste of $ 200 million, Disney’s Cruella encapsulates all that goes wrong with modern studio filmmaking and the intellectual property-based approach that the Mouse House is responsible for cultivating.

In the late 2000s, Disney decided that it no longer wanted to make films on low budgets, and instead would devote all of its resources to producing only tents. And so, he started buying everything from Lucasfilm to Marvel and then, ultimately, everything Fox. And while this plan has proven to be very successful, he’s the one responsible for making franchise-strong films that most studios are now focusing on.

Watch the Cruella trailer here:

Cruella, a prequel to live-action 101 Dalmatians (itself a remake), is a movie no one asked for. And yet it exists. The recent announcement that a sequel has been given the green light is only partially a clever PR move by the company, which is in the midst of a public legal battle with Scarlett Johansson. Most of the time, this indicates how tragically the industry has slipped into a creative corner. A sequel to Cruella is apparently a more compelling proposition for the studio than something that costs half the price but would be doubly memorable.

Because in the two months that have passed since I watched this movie, it has practically vanished from my mind. The only thing that has resisted the attraction of insignificance is the performance of Paul Walter Hauser. He might be the Steve Buscemi or John Goodman of this generation, just as comfortable playing supporting roles as he is playing lead roles.

He is the star actor of Cruella, a film starring two Emma’s with three Oscars between them. As the comedic relief character Horace, Hauser goes hard, settling into a semi-stillness that’s not only regularly funny, but also made me wonder why director Craig Gillespie didn’t ask the rest of the distribution to match its energy. Instead, Gillespie wastes what appears to be the majority of the film’s budget on endless needle drops and CGI dogs.

The inherent awkwardness of the plot demands a certain level of camp, but neither Cruella the movie nor the character are ready to commit. Instead, Gillespie aims for a false nervousness that subsides almost immediately. To compensate, he makes characters say things like “You’ve got a little bit of an extreme side” to Cruella’s face, as if the movie is afraid to show just how extreme his cruelty can be. Turns out she’s just an eccentric struggling with a traumatic past – a pretty routine backstory, but for Disney, positively risky.

Emma Stone in a Cruella still.

Emma Stone delivers an eerily distant performance as Estella / Cruella, who fled to London after her mother was horribly killed by a group of dogs in the opening sequence. She is immediately taken care of by a couple of children who live alone in a loft that seems to cost millions of pounds. The two boys invite Estella to join their merry band, and together they climb the social ladder.

A few years later, the trio, having now developed a strong platonic bond – it’s a Disney film, so romance doesn’t have the right to complicate their dynamic – Estella finds work at the most prestigious fashion brand. of town, where her talent is immediately spotted by the owner, Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson).

What unfolds is a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and The Favorite, and to understand the level of complacency that went into this movie’s creation, all you need to know is that Disney has it in. actually hired Aline Brosh McKenna and Tony McNamara to contribute to Cruella’s screenplay. Do these names mean anything to you? Well McKenna wrote The Devil Wears Prada and McNamara co-wrote The Favorite. It’s almost a miracle that Todd Phillips’ name doesn’t appear in the credits, because with these two films the next biggest point of reference seems to be Joker.

Like a dress with shoddy stitching, the movie rips roughly halfway through, when Estella decides she doesn’t want to be a cinch anymore and becomes a villain instead. What? How? ‘Or’ What? It’s weird. One minute she’s a sorry little person wanting to be noticed, and the next minute she announces her transformation into a flamboyant figure named Cruella by putting together a punk rock show in the middle of the street.

It seems a little undeserved, and frankly, it would have worked better if Estella’s about-face had been reserved for the final act of the movie, you know, like Joker. But by suddenly transforming her into a largely unfriendly character, the movie not only undoes the foundation it had laid in the last hour, but it also leaves you wondering how you’ll feel for the remaining 60 minutes (that’s a long movie, you guys). Are we supposed to magically forget what we just watched, or do we really have to root that rude person who seems to have invaded the movie? Because there is very little similarity between Estella and Cruella, even superficially.

Also Read: Aladdin Movie Review: Will Smith Makes The Magic Work In Guy Ritchie’s Disney Movie

Despite all of her punk rock spirit, Cruella is arguably one of the most conformist studio images on this side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Remember, if the costumes alone made a good movie, then Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have been the best director in the world. Cruella is not as unbearable as the Bhansali movies, but it just isn’t convincing.


Director – Craig Gillespie

To throw – Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

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