Red Riding Hood
In My Opinion…
Produced by: Leonardo DiCaprio
Running time: 100 minutes
Company: Warner Brothers
Leading actors: Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Gary Oldman
There is only one burning question in this movie: WHO IS THE WOLF?!
All other questions aside (like why is everyone so clean? And why is the wolf-hunting-priest-guy so creepy? And why is the witch-proving device in the shape of an elephant?), the wolf one nagged me throughout the whole movie. By the end everyone was suspicious. And the only person I didn’t question well…yes, that was the wolf. I hate it when that happens. Shows the movie makers up to be so clever and me to be such a long step behind.
The plot is brilliant. It leads you to question every actor – and become convinced at some point you know who is the wolf – and then surprises you at the end. Without the plot though, the movie would teeter on the edge of a cliff of despair. And it would fall.
Add in frustratingly clean faces, a cliché love triangle, friend betrayal, and an axe, you have the gist of the movie. As childish sweethearts turned to want-to-be-runaway-lovers and the romance went epic in the sweeties’ eyes (no sex scenes, only a kissing scene in the barn), I felt so moved I wanted to cry in my teacup. Seriously, now. Talk about cliché. I felt like I’d watched/read the entire story before, and the previous times didn’t hook me at all. Coupled with lines that we’ve heard a million times (such as “If you love her, take a hike, mate” and “Stop! Wolf! Go no further!”) I found myself hacking a laugh rather than clutching a pillow and screaming.
Oh, and everyone dies. Okay, it takes a while as they get picked off (some by real wolves, some by half-real-wolves), but they’re laid out and everyone cries and it truly is heartbreaking. At least, I would feel heartbroken if they let me. Where are the tear blotched faces? There is no detail in this movie. When I watch an epic, half-horror (it wasn’t that horrible), medieval fairy-tale rendition, I want to be convinced.
Woodcutters? Why are their hands clean? Blacksmith? Maybe he stars in a face-washing commercial in his spare time. Snow in the village? Is it really going to be sparkling white after hundreds of people trample it every day? I want to see dirt and grit and reality. Unless you’re selling me a pretty fairy tale (and I don’t think that was the aim), I don’t want to see any perfection. Except for in the cinematography (which also lacked).
The film had it’s moments, brief though they were, and if not for the plot I might have drowned in the aforementioned teacup. Still, when the wolf is a werewolf and is hard to kill and blood moon is disturbingly creepy, I boosted my star rating to a 2. The acting is fine, plausible and moving, and there are some hilarious lines amongst the rubble. And the ending is just how I wanted it. I will have some fond memories of Red Riding Hood, though most of them are when I was laughing and this movie wasn’t a comedy.