After some rather questionable live-action adaptations, Disney seemed to hit the spot with a fabulous reboot for this villain. Lets see why.
In Cruella, directed by director Craig Gillespie, they seemed to find the perfect formula between keeping the essence that made the villain successful and the possibility of giving her a makeover. Photo: YT-Walt Disney Studios
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Leer en español: Razones para no perderte la nueva Cruella de Disney
It is clear that Disney wants to conquer an increasingly wide audience. Although the launch of the Disney Plus streaming platform seemed to focus on expanding the content of its most iconic franchises (such as Star Wars or Marvel ), the truth is that they do not neglect the original essence of the mouse company with some of their more iconic characters.
Such is the case with Cruella, the new live-action film starring star Emma Stone , which sought to be an independent prequel to 101 Dalmatians, another live-action film released in 1996 . In that case, Cruella de Vil starred Glenn Close, in a magnificent adaptation. So brilliant was it that the prestigious American Film Institute considered this performance one of the 50 most important villains in the history of cinema.
Therefore, this work of 2021, which serves as a "reboot" for the world of the beloved dogs, had the difficult task of telling the origins of the character, but also that the performance of the protagonist is also at the height of its predecessor . The truth is that it achieved both. Let's see why.
The new Cruella
The expectations were high. The first thing to note is that, recently, Disney had a problem with live-action. The most recent and remembered was Mulan, the film directed by Niki Caro that failed to maintain the original spark to the point where it was a failure in sales due to its inaccuracies in relation to the animated work.
Therefore, they already knew everything they should not do with this new installment, which would serve to tell the origins of one of Disney's most famous villains ... and they succeeded. In Cruella, directed by director Craig Gillespie, they seemed to find the perfect formula between keeping the essence that made the villain successful and the possibility of giving her a makeover of the character .
This is related to the risky dark tone of this delivery, one of the strongest points of the film. Set in London in the 70s, there is an exquisite staging to recreate the city, not only from a visual point of view, but also a narrative one . Punk aesthetics and criticism of the system allow showing social protests, with a political stance that questions the establishment.
With similarities to the successful of the Joker, the protagonist is complex and with multiple dimensions to tackle . Played by a masterful Emma Stone (who shows why she is one of the best actresses of this era), Cruella is defiant, rebellious and with a charming personality. The choice was perfect, as it manages to convey that air of mystery, darkness and humor so characteristic of Cruella de Vil.
Precisely, the film manages to empathize with the Baroness's motivations , to the point that we want her to do well in everything she sets out to do. That is, she does not pose as evil, but believes she is doing the right thing. For example, she is always committed to artistic facets and believes that she needs to renounce solidarity over others to be the best at her job.
For this reason, moral ambiguity is one of the pillars on which the entire work is based, something that can be seen in the creative freedoms that have been taken . While it works as a prequel to the 1996 story, it is different enough not to depend on it, to the point where both interpretations of Cruella are very different. This is, without a doubt, one of the most positive points of this adaptation.
#Cruella es totalmente diferente a los anteriores live-action de Disney. También es el mejor. Es la peli más oscura de todas y con un tono súper irónico que le pega muchísimo. Emma Stone está ESPECTACULAR. El vestuario y la fotografía son merecedores de Oscar. Me ha encantado. pic.twitter.com/gvWUgHXm9T— vic ???????? (@folklorerush_) May 27, 2021
Other of the most notable sections are given through the soundtrack, full of hits that you will listen constantly and that will perfectly accompany some of the memorable scenes of the reboot . In addition, photography and costume design generate a pop-punk aesthetic that also fits very well with the plot that is sought to tell, where female empowerment is one of the keys.
The bet has gone wonders, because Cruella is a risky bet that does not depend on the original live-action. Here is the genesis of one of the most iconic villains of the mouse company. Such success leaves the door open for a possible sequel and even a remake of 101 Dalmatians .
In this way, Disney was able to redeem itself from previous adaptations with real actors that did not turn out as they wanted. The key, as Cruella demonstrated, is to give yourself enough creative license to tackle new aspects of familiar stories, but also to maintain the essence that made classic films famous. We hope you continue on the same path!