Review: “Cruella” delivers a cruel and twisted experience

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Sophia Pendergast, Staff Reporter

The backstories of villains are often neglected. How did they become evil? Were they always cruel? 

Disney’s “Cruella” helps to answer these questions about the beloved dog-hating villain, Cruella De Vil. In a dark and suspenseful environment, Disney conveys Cruella’s story in a delightfully fashionable way. 

“Cruella” follows the backstory of Estella (played by Emma Stone) as she moves away from a life of petty theft and becomes one of the top fashion designers of her time, all the while developing her new persona, Cruella De Vil. 

This film was an exciting twist from Disney’s traditional happy ending. Instead, it’s all about Cruella learning to fend for herself amidst difficulties. With many twists, this film is heavy in suspense. 

The real star of the show was the ambiance. It truly enveloped the viewers and added to the dark undertones of the film. It featured a lot of Cruella’s signature colors, including black and white, but also added pops of red and other vibrant tones that hinted subtly at the extravagance of the fashion world. 

In addition to the ambiance, the costumes that the characters wore were impeccable. They were unique, over-the-top, and unlike anything I have seen in a movie. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Cruella develop her own style, away from that of her mentor, and marveled at the great pieces that she created. 

I was shocked by how dark the film was. It was completely different from the normally cheerful Disney film. It showed that happy endings aren’t for everybody, and that we all have tragedy in our lives. 

An interesting aspect to the film was seeing how characters from the film “101 Dalmatians” also tied into Cruella’s backstory. Many characters played a large role in the story, including Cruella’s henchmen, Jasper and Horace, as well as Anita Darling. In a way, viewers also get a slight backstory on those characters, and are able to see how their lives intertwine. 

This film appears to be a “The Devil Wears Prada” on steroids. However, in this film, the plot thickens and adds layers of depth to characters simply written off as “villains.” 

“Cruella” can be watched for free with a Disney+ subscription or purchased for $19.99 on Amazon. 

“Cruella” is easily one of Disney’s topmost creative films and should be on the must-watch list of anybody looking for a shockingly cruel movie night!