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REVIEW: Cruella

Cruella Review

Cruella is the newest live-action adaptation of a cartoon character that Disney decided to give us. I only went to see the movie because there was nothing else out in the theater this weekend.

At an overly long, bloated run time of 2 hours and 12 minutes, we get the entire life story of Cruella, prior to 101 Dalmatians, whose real name is Estella. Of course, it starts with the stereotypical birth scene, continuing through childhood to adulthood. She becomes orphaned and meets her two future henchmen, played by Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry. They were pretty bumbling, and I found myself both amused and annoyed by them.

Cruella Review

Estella dreams of a career in fashion, and by a series of events, ends up at the fashion house of the Baroness. There’s a connection from the Baroness to the events that caused Estella to be orphaned, and when that connection is made by Estella, she goes full-on Cruella. I think Disney was attempting to show that Estella/Cruella has some sort of hereditary personality disorder, and I don’t know how I felt about that being used as a plot device. Cruella’s vendetta and revenge are sort of fun to watch, but there’s just too much. Every time you thought the movie was ending, something else happened.  

Cruella Review

Emma Stone does make Cruella interesting, which is a positive. Emma Thompson as the Baroness was so over the top, but at least Thompson seemed to enjoy playing someone that deranged.

For me, the only positives of this film were the costumes and music. The 60s/70s soundtrack was sick (in a good way), and the fashion was over the top and outrageous. The run time was so long, and Disney should have just slapped it on Disney+, for free, as a miniseries. The movie was not worth the price of a ticket, and definitely not worth that crazy premium pricing on VOD. If you’re interested, wait a couple of months and watch it for free when it joins the Disney+ library.

Cruella (2021) Comedy, Crime | 134min | 28 May 2021 (UK) 7.4
Director: Craig GillespieWriter: Dana Fox, Tony McNamaraStars: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel FrySummary: Before she becomes Cruella de Vil, teenaged Estella has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having wound up penniless and orphaned in London at 12, 4 years later Estella runs wild through the city streets with her best friends and partners-in-(petty)-crime, Horace and Jasper, two amateur thieves. When a chance encounter vaults Estella into the world of the young rich and famous, however, she begins to question the existence she's built for herself in London and wonders whether she might, indeed, be destined for more after all. When an up-and-coming rock star commissions Estella to design him a signature piece, she begins to feel as though she has truly arrived. But what is the cost of keeping up with the fast crowd- and is it a price Estella is willing to pay?

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Erika Johnson
I'm a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I'm an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I'm not at the movies, I'm either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.