23 April 2011

Red Riding Hood

This particular film has had a lot of bad reviews from what I've been reading and hearing, but really this it has been bigged up by the film industry a little too much. after all, this is a film based on a children's fairy story, so it will never be absolutely superb, unlike a film directly from a creative mind, rather than something pre-existing. It is also directed by the same woman who directed Twilight, but thankfully she had gotten rather a lot better actors in this movie.

This is the story of Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), from a village bang in the middle of a huge forest that is plagued by a werewolf. She is just planning to run away with the man (a woodcutter, and a hot one at that) that she loves when her sister is killed by it.To make matters worse, her parents have arranged her to marry the very rich blacksmith (played by Jeremy Iron's son Max, who is also nice to look at). As a result of the death, the men go out to to hunt for the beast, only for a man to be killed and the village to be attacked. Then along comes Father Solomon, a pious and cruel man who wants to rid the world of werewolves, and the havoc begins.

I find what they did with the story quite refreshing and yet not altogether new. They changed the original story so much, but kept all the best bits; the red riding hood, the wolf, the forest, the grandmother in the woods and of course those famous lines - 'What big teeth you have... all the better to eat you with.' The entire story is geared so much for that same audience that loved the twilight films though. That was it's only downfall. The ending, although kind of sad, was rather too happy in my opinion. You had the werewolf, the hot young men and the inevitable love triangle predicament. It was all a little obvious, to say the least.

With performances from Julie Christie and Gary Oldman, this film made my day despite it's obviousness. The plot kept you guessing who the werewolf was right until it was revealed. And no, it wasn't who I thought it was, and usually I'm right. I thought the film overall was quite clever; it was made entirely for the teen girl audience, and yet had enough storyline to hold an audience fairly captive. Yes, I could have missed some and still got the point, as some of the scenes were a little long winded, but I also could have missed a clue as to the wolf's identity.

I liked the way that the story was a little more fantasy based, and had a very old fashioned feel to the village. The idea of witches, werewolves and religion was inspired, I thought, as it gave a twist to what could have been quite a boring film, had they not adapted the story.

The setting and scenery were stunning, particularly at the beginning where there was a pan over the landscape. I also thought the wolf was good, as it was scary, but not. You knew what it was capable of and yet there was a humanness that made you think of it. And the story makes sense, which some of these films rarely do, especially when there is a mystery concerned.

Overall, I was quite impressed. However, I will give this film a 7/10, as I feel it lacked the dynamism and acting that would have made it a better film, which would have been more suitable for a wider audience.