Devilish Fun | “Cruella” (2021) Movie Review

Origin stories for villains are quite common. What started with Maleficent, has moved to villains like the Joker, Norman Bates, and even Nurse Ratched. But when I heard this movie was made, I made fun of the idea behind it. It wasn’t until hearing ads for it at work I decided to give it a chance. So, is this movie necessary or just part of a trend?

Emma Stone plays Cruella, a girl who was born Estella, who’s often ostracized for her non-conformist ways. After her mother (Emily Beecham) is killed by fashion icon The Baroness (Emma Thompson) and her Dalmatians, she’s taken in by pickpockets Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and Jasper (Joel Fry) in a pickpocket family. Years later, they get Estella a job at a department store that eventually gets her a position for the Baroness. Estella puts the pieces together that the Countess killed her mom and wages fashion war using the name Cruella.

This could have been an easy paycheck for the actors involved, but instead, you can see that everyone gives their all in their roles. Emma Stone steals the show as the famed fashion designer turned Disney villain. She has the charisma to make you love the villain and want to see her in a 101 Dalmatians remake. And Emma Thompson matches Stone in style; the two feel like they’re playing a hybrid of chicken and chess with their fashion. Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser also do a solid performance as the bumbling henchmen and flesh them out. You get the feeling that these three have history and are a tightknit found family. And then there’s John McCrea who plays Artie, Disney’s fifth first gay character who’s a joy to watch. He has the camp that feels reminiscent to Queer Eye.

There are so many questions no one asked to get answered in this film. So, if you wanted to know where Anita and Roger came from, how they got Pongo and Perdita, or where Cruella De Vil’s name came from, you’ve come to the right place. But if you didn’t want those things, you’ll still love this. It’s a heist movie with fashion. Each of the outfits are distinctive and capture Cruella’s personality. And the soundtrack melts into the world immaculately.

Eye candy. That’s the best way I can describe this movie. The cast really puts their effort in, and you see it through the acting. The outfits and soundtrack give this movie the style and flair that makes up the fun the movie’s going for. And if you’re one of those people who was skeptical of this, I’d recommend going in looking at it with an open mind. It’s a spectacle film to watch with your friends.


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