Thursday, 28 April 2011

Movie Review - Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood was one of the many books being adapted into film this year, so how did it fare?

With Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) as the lead female, Billy Burke (Twilight Saga) and other recognizable faces such as Max Iron, Virginia Madsen and Shiloh Fernandez as well as being directed by Chatherine Hardwicke (Twilight), this film promised romance and action and, in a way, it delivers.

The plot is interesting and obviously based on the original fairytale as well as its book adaptation by California based author Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. I love the way details from, not only the original "Little Red Riding Hood", but also "The Three Little Pigs" were added to the film: the piggies being blown over by a wolf during the village celebration, her dream of "what big eyes you have grandma", the pig's head mask she wears towards the end. I also loved the criticism to the Church's Crusade were the priest was merciless in killing for his cause but when the rules applied to him, his out-take changed into that of having mercy. I also love the twist at the end. You just do not see it coming.

This is classically Catherine Hardwicke, though, and you can tell.  The off-blue take on colours, amazing soundtrack and also her one little flaw: her difficulty in condensing the plot in a way you do not feel something is lacking. Admittedly it is hard to condense a book into under two hours of film without making sacrifices and Hardwicke has drawn the short stick on this issue before, receiving bad feedback from the most purists of Twilight fans. I personally really like her work and think she is very good at capturing the unworldliness of fairytales. Her choices for the soundtracks are the highlight for me. I love the fact she pulls in eccentric and "a little on the indie side" bands like Fever Ray (listen to "The Wolf" here) just as she did for Twilight. It definitely creates a lot of atmosphere.

Performance wise... Where Seyfried definitely delivers, I thought Fernandez definitely lacks. I could have mistaken him for a London boy. Only the swagger was missing and some of his lines were ultra cheesy like: "I thought you'd say that" in key moments of the movie. On the other hand, even though his character was a little dull, Max Iron was sexy as hell and all I could thing while watching it was: he would make a fantastic Jace Wayland for the film version of one of my favourite books: City of Bones - The Mortal Instruments - by Cassandra Clare (read more about it here or in Portuguese here). He managed to add not only good looks but a very interesting and mysterious intensity to a character that was otherwise a little uninteresting. 

In short, I would watch it again and I want the soundtrack album. ^_^

Film Rating: ****
To check the rating system click here.

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