Director: Craig Gillespie
Written by: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara, Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, Steve Zissis
Based on the Novel: “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith
Main Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Hauser
In the film, an orphan reclaims her lavish birthright. Embracing her dark side along the way. Chipping away at the reason behind an overpowering alter ego… that’s slightly talented.
Cruella was dazzling. An unexpected triumph, yes, but a very beautiful story.
In general, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I thought it popped visually, that Emma Stone was brilliant. Powerhouse brilliant. I loved the soundtrack, I loved the clever dialogue, I was enamored.
In deeper terms, the story is about Alter Ego. About playing the social hand one is dealt in youth, and finding, in this case, a better game to play altogether.
To fully examine Cruella herself would spoil the movie in a way that is quite unforgivable at this stage of my film review project.
However, I can assure you that the dialogue was so clever that statements twisted upon each other easily. With, at times undeniably humorous, but always plot driven overtone.
I can admit that I completely dig the soundtrack.
Emma. Fucking. Stone.
She passed powerhouse performance at the fountain in the park roughly an hour through the film and I was far more riveted then I planned to be after that.
Not to be outdone…
Emma. Fucking. Thompson.
You hated her. You would think she had been typecast into the imbecile teacher from Hogwarts if you misjudged her entry into her first scene, but when you realized she was a fish out of water fashion mogul with the envy of London but the idea portfolio of a trout, you understood you were supposed to hate her. And she let you like an actor should.
But back to Emma Fucking Stone who’s voice narration was, and I quote my notes, “classy, flawless, and rich in the required accent.”
I was mimicking her on smoke breaks during the film and in conversation with my family as I watched, hardly interrupted, at my desk.
I wasn’t prepared for Cruella. I mean that of the alter ego. The former girl who had attempted to be a model child, Estella, was agreeable. But the Cruella she grew into… the fashion statements, the party crashing, bold, vengeful fashion stunts through the rising action were- agreeable, yes, but- the words I’m looking for are; “shocking”, “fierce”, “fashion-transcendent”, even.
Surprisingly enough, my favorite “stunt” included a garbage truck.
(See the film.)
Oh, and I have to mention, that any time you can add to the stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance to make an honest point, you have played the game of dialogue well. For even if it isn’t a stage in balanced psychology, any mania-prone animal who can understand the science of grief would agree that if one added the stage of Revenge, it would be a much more complete process.
My kudos to the writing team, on that note.