She’s bold, she’s wildly creative, she’s unstoppable, and she loves who she is. She is Cruella.
This is not the loathsome Disney villain who preys on dalmatian puppies to make furs out of their hides. Ok, it’s supposedly the prequel to that, but it’s hard to imagine this Cruella as the one we all know and hate.
It’s the story of a brilliant woman abandoned as a child, kept down by unfortunate circumstances. But she never loses sight of who she is, what she’s capable of, and what she wants from life. Though sometimes downright unlikeable, as geniuses can be, in the end she proves to be a badass with heart.
We root for her because perhaps she’s what many of us wish we had the courage to be. Maybe deep down inside we all have ambitions to conquer. But as Rick Yancey, the author of the Sci-Fi novel, The Last Star says so eloquently: “To conquer, you must endure not just your own suffering but the suffering of others. Indifference is the ultimate evolutionary achievement, the highest rung on nature’s ladder.”
Of course, if anyone in the real world bore that attitude, they would be ostracized and friendless, and probably jobless as well. Who would want to work with someone like that? Unless you’re a self-made, billionaire business mogul, maybe. But this kind of attitude can only triumph in a movie, and what are movies for if not to allow us to live out fantasies through the characters on screen?
Then there’s the stunning cinematography. Scenes feel choreographed as though for a dance, and a dance it is. Cruella’s dance of conquest. A dance of brilliant reds, blacks, and whites swirling, gyrating, billowing from start to end.
And OMG the music. As Cruella goes about conquering the world, we are dancing in our seats to a playlist of rock, R&B, pop and punk. “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” by Nancy Sinatra; “Stone Cold Crazy,” by Queen; “One Way or Another,” by Blondie; “Hush,” by Deep Purple; “The Wizard,” by Black Sabbath; and more.
And of course, the acting. Emma Stone is phenomenal in her portrayal of this Cruella. I have a newfound respect for her. And Emma Thompson, one of my all-time favorite actors, is as always brilliant.
A scintillating work of Art, it was so much fun. Can’t wait to see it again.
Enjoy this trailer if you haven’t already seen it.