The idea of another adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda was one that didn't sound very appealing at first yet, when you take into account this is actually an adaptation of Tim Minchin's smash-hit stage musical (itself obviously an adaptation of Dahl's novel), there's no denying how curious I was to see how it would play out on the big screen.

Matilda (Alisha Weir), an extraordinary girl armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand against her oppressive parents (Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough) and head teacher, Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson) to change her story with miraculous results.
A story like Matilda is one that can bring with it a number of ideas in how to adapt it for the screen, imaginations running wild as Dahl's pages are brought to life. The film starts in such promising fashion, a musical number within the walls of a maternity ward with the imaginations of babies telling us what their parents think of them. It's a fun opening; the colours popping and choreography flowing with a thoroughly entertaining song to enjoy. Sadly though it's just about one of only two memorable musical numbers throughout the film, and I feel that's only as it opens proceedings. The only other song that really stood out for me was When I Grow Up

I always find it hard to really take to a musical if I don't really remember the songs after however, Matilda managed to keep me invested thanks to just how fun it ended up being. Dennis Kelly's screenplay is fresh and leans more towards the absurd side of things which is apt seeing as this is a film about a child with magical powers putting them to use at school which will appeal to a younger audience. It doesn't shy away from speaking of dangers in life and horrific accidents mind, which Dahl hardly shied away from either in his books.
Nothing stood out more to me in Matilda though than its performances. Child actors can often make or break a film for me and luckily Matilda has a lead in Alisha Weir who thrives in bringing such an iconic character of literature to life. It's hard not to root for her mind when her parents are so dispicable, played rather wonderfully by Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough. There isn't anyone here having as much fun as Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull mind, the national treasure revelling in the chance to play such a hideous villain who I'm sure will scare her fair share of children akin to Pam Farris back in 1996.

Matilda the Musical may not be the greatest musical of all time yet it finds its feet rather quickly to become nothing but an injection of sheer joy that families around the world will enjoy. Definitely crowd-pleasing enough to open the London Film Festival this year that's for sure.

Verdict: ½


  1. He bdbshshshfsgsgs yabvacace gee gefegscsc


Post a Comment

Popular Posts