Cruella

Cruella ★★½

Cruella is the first Disney remake I managed to finish in a long time, but that doesn't mean it's good, just that it's not necessarily terrible. Mediocre, is the word that better describes it, in my opinion.

Cruella is a strange movie, it tries to appeal to a mature audience with its dark and edgy (not really tho) atmosphere, but it has a terrible problem in transferring that atmosphere to the characters, which are shallower than a puddle.

Cruella should be a villain origin story, the story of the raise of one of the cruelest villains in Disney's history, the one that had no remorse in killing animals just for fashion, a borderline psycho, but this Cruella is far from cruel, she's petty at best.
She never commits real villany actions, she always plays safe, as does the whole movie, and she's not even the real villain of the story.
There's one thing that bothered me a lot: we can precisely mark the moment in which Cruella turns "bad". It shouldn't be like that. A person doesn't just suddenly changes an entire personality in the blink of an eye, it's something that takes time. Also, that whole dicotomy Estella/Cruella seems just like bad bipolar disorder representation. Or you can call it lazy writing.
Just as it is lazy writing giving the same amount of personality of a rock to her two partners in crime (I can't even remember their names). They are put in the movie just because the plot required it, not because they are actual characters, if they were they wouldn't have been with Cruella after her "evil turn".

Now let's get to the villain, the Baroness. She is such a bad Mirand Priestly rip-off. It takes the idea of Miranda's character, strip it off of what actually made her a fearsome, iconic, well rounded character, and produce a stereotypical, dumb antogonist, evil just for the sake of it. She has no personality, no sense of reality, nothing, she's the piece of a game, moved around as the plot commands.

The main problem of the movie though it's not the characters, it's the targeted audience. If this were an r-rated feature I'm sure it would have turned out way better, as there are some really cool ideas, like the "fashion war" Cruella puts against the Baroness, but unfortunately being bound to appeal to a children's audience it plays it extremely safe. As I was saying before, Cruella should be cruel, it's her main feature, but the movie just can't risk to have a real villain as the protagonist of the story, so it washes her off of her main characteristics and refuses to let her do actions that have always defined the character (ahem, killing dogs) to turn her into a quasi-hero.

There's something else I'd like to say, about the whole Disney's remakes situation, I don't think that it's necessarily something bad, but it becomes bad in the moment when they don't know how to make a distinction between telling a story through the media of animation and telling a live action story. When you work with animation rules are different, some absurdities and things we would find strange in the real world appear perfectly normal, whereas when you work with real actor, in a realistic setting, you have to pay attention to our world's rules. There are some scenes in Cruella (and in all the Disney remakes) that are particularly jarring to the viewer, as they are not made for live action, they don't make sense in a real life situation, especially regarding how people behave. I don't know if what I saying makes any sense, but I hope it does.

Anyways, even though I only complained about the movie, I honestly kind of enjoyed it, the costumes are astonishing and Emma Stone is amazing as always, the story is fun and overall it makes up for a cute easy watch, the kind of thing I would probably love to watch with my sister (if only The Devil Wears Prada didn't exist, but since it does exist we're gonna watch that)

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