Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you no evil thing will. When you hear the name Cruella, do you imagine the skinny, cigarette smoking, dognapping cartoon from the 1961 animated film 101 Dalmatians? Or the unforgettable, beautifully, demented psychotic performance of Glenn Close from the 1996 and 2000 live action films 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians? Now de Vil has a new name, and her name is Emma.
Directed by Craig Gillespie with screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara. Cruella is the second classic Disney villain to get the live action solo film treatment, first being Maleficent played by Angelina Jolie. And once again Disney did not disappoint. Emma Stone can make you root for and like a future puppy murdering lunatic who should not have any redeemable qualities. But I did and I have no regrets. If 2019s Joker and 2006s The Devil Wears Prada were to have a baby, then Cruella would be that love child or hate child.
Cruella is a crime comedy film by Walt Disney Pictures about the origins of Cruella de Vil. Emma Stone, as the yet to be puppy killer fashionista, leads a stunning cast. Including the scene stealing Emma Thompson, as The Baroness, who is probably Crueler than Cruella, I mean damn The Baroness was a cold-hearted bitch and Thompson played it brilliantly. I loved it. The film also includes a supporting role by Mark Strong. Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as Jasper and Horace, Cruella’s surrogate family and later henchmen. Even hints of a possible romance between Cruella and Jasper, I saw that Disney.
The film let’s into the mind of Estella/ Cruella in her “humble” beginning in 1970s London as she goes from a disguise-making thief to fashion designer. The film explores the idea of split personality disorder with Estella being the more nice, caring side and then there’s Cruella the rebellious crazy side. With ambition being the common interest between the two. Further into the film Cruella starts to become the main personality with Estella slowly fading away. We even get a glimpse into her future with a joke about turning Dalmatians into a coat. Towards the end the film gives the audience a twist, which helps explain Cruella’s wicked nature more. The films end with a hint to a “fingers crossed” future 101 Dalmatians film.
To sum it up Emma Stone was brilliant, Emma Thompson was equally as brilliant, a great soundtrack, spectacular fashion, a great twist and unforgettable moments. I look forward to seeing Cruella in a future sequel, which is in early development with director Craig Gillespie and writer Tony McNamara set to return. And hopefully we will be seeing Emma Stone trying to turn dalmatian puppies into a coat soon.
My rating: 4/5 stars
See Cruella now in theaters or on Disney+ with Premier Access (additional fee required)