Roald Dahl’s unassuming and poignant children’s book disappears in a sea of musical explosions.
Why the new NetflixMatilda Music?
Roald Dahl’s story about an early bookworm with telekinetic powers is so beautiful because it’s common and recognizable. We recognize ourselves in Matilda because, in addition to her exceptional intelligence and strength, she is an ordinary girl. Countless children feel misunderstood by parents, guardians, and authorities, and flee into fairy tales or their imaginations. We all consider ourselves very smart, and everyone has tried to move a cup or spoon with their brains.
red thread Matilda It is the special bond between the girl and her teacher, Miss Angel, who sees Matilda and loves her for who she is. This love and mutual recognition frees them from the dictatorship of Matilda’s neglectful parents (played by Andrea Riseborough and Stephen Graham in the new Netflix musical) and, above all, the terrifyingly giant Headmaster Trunchbull (Emma Thompson is adorably smiling in a giant make-up).
Matilda Modest and intimate musicals are lavish and dramatic. Whatever the considerations for turning the book into a West End musical, and then into a musical, I doubt it will serve the story and the children it is intended for. While composer Tim Minchin’s songs are often poignant and catchy in their own right, they overshadow the rest of the story. In addition to the copious singing and choreography of hundreds of children and adults at the same time, the floating chalk writing on the board alone is no longer so exciting.
Furthermore, it distracts from the vital bond between Matilda and Miss Angel. Lashana Lynch plays Angel as a shy person with wide eyes, a bowed head, and a small smile, whose love and passion for children, her craft, and herself may fade after years of Trunchbull’s torment, but they’re never really gone. Lynch is a revelation, so it’s a shame most songs ignore her relationship with Matilda. More time Matilda spends with the librarian, Mrs. Vince.
Alisha Weir plays Matilda with believability and she sings wonderfully, but her character simply doesn’t have enough to do. Matilda V the musical he ‘s young girlboss who only frowns when she teases her parents or protects fellow students (in the movie poster, she takes a stern stance at the school table with her fists on her hips), but is never vulnerable, and her deep loneliness and longing are hardly ever revealed. There is no reason to resist it.
This, and a few nods to Roald Dahl’s other works, suggest that Musical Matilda It exists mainly because it can, after Netflix acquired The Roald Dahl Story Company in September 2021. It feels like mining the “Roald Dahl Cinematic Universe.” No doubt kids will find the movie entertaining, but I suspect they’ll be better served by Danny DeVito’s younger style and more self-proclaimed portrayal. 1996 film adaptation Also on Netflix.
Musical Matilda It can be seen on Netflix from December 25th
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