Cruella (2021) Review

Certificate: 12A

Director: Craig Gillespie

Screenwriter: Dana Fox, Tony McNamara

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry

Genre: Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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Young, talented Estella dreams of becoming a fashion designer.  But when a childhood tragedy turns her world upside down, she falls in with petty thieves Horace and Jasper and grows up on the streets of London.  When a stroke of luck finds her head hunted by one of London’s top designers, Estella thinks her life is finally on track, until she finds out her new boss has links to her tragic past, and she will do anything to get revenge.

Calling this film a disappointment, while the easiest way to describe my feelings, isn’t exactly accurate.  I have had very average experiences with all of Disney’s live action remakes so far, so I was really only expecting this film to be very average.  So in that way it lived up to what my expectations were for it.  But that in and of itself is disappointing.  I wanted this to be the one that impressed me.  Ala, it was not meant to be.

It was by no means a dumpster fire of a film.  The production design and the costumes, as you would expect for a film with a fashion heavy plotline, were absolutely fabulous.  Every outfit was a jaw dropper and the whole sixties aesthetic was so much fun.  And the more Estella embraced the Cruella persona, the more fabulous the outfits got.

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Both Emma Stone and Emma Thompson have proven time and again what great actresses they are, and they don’t need me to wax lyrical about their great performances here.  They are both as great as you would expect.  Thompson in particular plays a fabulous villain, she was my favourite part of the film.  So as leading ladies go, these two were pretty damn good.

My biggest upset with the film was definitely the plot.  Not only was it incredibly predictable from beginning to end, but it was packed full of so many Disney clichés, that nothing that really happened was a big shock.  All the twists were pretty benign, with nothing getting even so much as a raised eyebrow from me, and towards the end I did start to find my mind wandering, the film feeling far too long for the thin plot that it was trying to stretch out.

Another live action offering that falls short of what it could have been.  Maybe I will have better luck with whatever one they try and do next.

Disney’s ‘Cruella’ is available on Disney Plus for Premiere access, or alternatively, is out in UK cinemas now!

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