Another leftover from the weekend and I have just finished watching Cruella on Disney Plus Hotstar. One of the most iconic comic book villains, Cruella who was first seen in the book 101 Dalmatians, finally gets a spin off on her own. I remember watching the movie 101 Dalmatians as a kid and it was the portrayal of Cruella by Glenn Close which had given me nightmares. This was probably my first brush with a character that would later on go on to being iconic! And to be honest, this character may just be synonymous to The Joker from the DC universe, although The Joker was a far more complex character. Either way it is Disney who has produced a spin off, is Cruella worth your time…stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Cruella is the origin story of one of the most iconic villains in comic book history! The story traces the life of young Estella, a rebel from the start and her journey in being the legendary villain Cruella De Vil(notice the word play “Devil”). The story is deliciously dark, perhaps the darkest film coming out of Disney who are known for colourful and happy films. Heck, this one seemed straight out of the DC Universe! The screenplay is equally engaging. The tone is set in the initial few minutes itself as a young Estella causes havoc at her school. Soon, the drama shifts to a tragedy following which it is a journey of survival for the young kid. And if you are aware of her character from 101 Dalmatians then Cruella was a fashion designer. So this film always traces her journey for the same as well that soon turns into a revenge drama. The drama is engrossing and will keep you hooked and booked throughout. The chaos at the halfway mark is the highlight where the entire sequence is so well penned. If anything, the drama slows down that wee bit in the second hour but still quite enough to hold your attention culminating into an exceptionally shot finale. The screenplay writing deserves distinction marks here as you will find yourself rooting for the protagonist throughout despite the fact that she would turn out to be one of the modt iconic villains of all times!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and leave a lasting impact. The music is pitch perfect that defines the mood of the drama and more importantly the character of the protagonist(or the antagonist?) perfectly. The BGM is simply brilliant. The cinematography is brilliant and the VFX compliments the drama well. Director Craig Gillespie does a bloody brilliant job here. He takes you on one helluva roller coaster ride that is deliciously dark and starkly funny.
The performances are absolutely smashing. Paul Walter Hauser as Horace does his part to tickle your funny bone. Joel Fry as Jasper is first rate. Emma Thompson as The Baroness is fabulously brilliant. She is a worthy nemesis to the protagonist and she is totally at ease protraying her character with panache. The ‘Devil May Care’ Attitude is quite visible with her character and this was one character that stays with you after the film is long over. Emma Stone as Cruella delivers a towering act. The character has shades of Harley Quinn from the suicide squad and her antics totally win the day! This is an outstanding portrayal of an iconic villain in an acting masterclass of the highest order!
Cruella is deliciously dark and perhaps the best non-animated movie coming out of Disney Studios. Available on Disney Plus Hotstar(the English subscription has begun a couple if days earlier than the date of announcement) and Highly Recommended!