Cruella 2021 film review

The idea of an origin story might be lost on some people, and others may absolutely adore them. I'm somewhere in the middle. Done right and they can make you rethink why that villain is really a villain, and why that hero might not be as perfect as you might think. 

Cruella is one of those films that hits the nail on the head, it really shoots and scores and personally I think it's one of the best origin films that Disney have ever put out. I recently took Max to see it in the cinema and here are our thoughts on this cruel and wicked dog-napping villain. 

Set in London during the rising of punk, rock and roll and rebellion, we meet Estella. Estella is a young, rebellious child who knows what she wants and is willing to put up a fight for it. When her mother dies and she is left orphaned, she finds herself in the city of London, with the world at her feet and only a dog for company. After meeting Horace and Jasper, two fellow street urchins, she gets to work to try and make it in the formidable world of fashion. 

When Estella grows up and gets the chance to work under the fashion powerhouse Baroness Von Hellman, she soon starts to find her feet. For things aren't exactly how they might seem and this mentor and mentee relationship might be based on vengeance rather than friendship. Is this the moment that Estella becomes the Cruella we know and love to hate? 

Featuring some characters from the original film that we know and love (canine and human!) it's a story that ties the original tale to the origin story of Cruella really nicely.  All with a classic 70's punk rock soundtrack. 

Estella is played by the brilliant Emma Stone. Whilst dubious about an American playing a Brit, Emma blew me away with her performance. I loved the way she could switch from ruthless, to relentless, to kind and cruel. A proper powerhouse performance dressed in costumes that would leave even the best fashion designers speechless. 

Cruella meets her match with Baroness Von Hellmann played by Emma Thompson. One of my favourite actresses of all time, Emma plays a cold hearted designer who is as sharp as a sword, and as evil as they come. She is truly ruthless and her performance is brilliant and cruel. 

One thing that must be noted about Cruella is that it's a bit of a dark film. With lots of action, darkness and it's fair amount of violence, this film sits at a 12a. At over 2 hours long, it's also a long film, so definitely not suitable for those younger Dalmatian fans. Max however adored the punk inspired soundtrack, non stop action, and story that had more twists and turns than you could wish for. 

Cruella is definitely a film not to miss. It hits all those notes that you want and need in a slightly grown up Disney film. It's currently in cinemas at the moment and on Disney+ for those with Premier Access. It will hit Disney+ for regular streamers later in the year, but is definitely one to add to your watch list!

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