With lush, fun cinematography, creative staging, and some true powerhouse music and dance numbers, the strengths of "Matilda" more than make up for its weaknesses. Here's to the children of the revolution.
Stream Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical
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This is the rare musical that actually allows its performances room to breathe. There’s an inherent theatricality in the staging and a complexity in the choreography.
It’s no crime to have another wholesome heroine for a new generation to look up to, only a shame that this is a sanitized reproduction and slight distortion of one who already existed.
The film, on balance, is cheery, sherbet-colored stuff, bursting with goodwill for all good people. What you remember from it, however, is each scene in which elder malevolence deliciously spoils the party.
The team manages to hit most of the right notes with this perky, peculiar adaptation. Or maybe the film has just enough bright shiny objects and tightly synchronized dancing-child chorus lines to stop anyone from caring about all that problematic whatnot. In any case, it mostly works.
A serviceable translation of a theatrical success whose weaker elements are found wherever it veers too widely from its source.
This …Matilda is not just a big movie about a little girl finding her voice, but about the need to speak up against injustice, wherever its found, and to find people who believe in you enough to lend their support.
Matilda is a tangy bit of entertainment, served up with gusto.