Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical 2022 Movie Review
Fittingly this is a British cast and filmed in the UK. Roald Dahl would have been proud. The exception to the rule being Tim Minchin. But his music transposes from stage to film excellently, allowing for an even greater visual feast playing with his clever lyrics.
My biggest issue with the 1996 version being Danny DeVito playing Mr Wormwood as well as being the narrator. But this film avoids the obvious pitholes and is a huge step away from the original, music aside.
The casting is well thought. Emma Thompson playing Miss Trunchbull with little effort it seems as she is obviously enjoying every evil second of it. I don’t mean to be mean to Ms. Thompson, but it really didn’t look like she was wearing much in the way of prosthetics, but I mean this in a good way. Nanny McPhee simply looked like Emma Thompson wearing loads of plastic.
You know Stephen Graham always delivers but my only criticism is that he was on screen too little. Andrea Riseborough was new to me, but again, too little screen time. I guess being a musical, they had to devote more time to the musical numbers. The two main hitters being “When I grow up” and “Revolting Children” These were well presented and brilliantly re-worked for the big screen.
When I first saw Alisha Weir (Matilda) I was a bit worried that she wouldn’t deliver, the role of Matilda being a lot more complex than it first appears. But I was very quickly blown away by her ability to bring pathos and the next minute show that she was no pushover no matter the consequences. I was also glad that she was not your typical stage kid. Her performance being understated and effective in the process.
The standout performance was for me Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey. She deserves awards galore for this role. If she doesn’t make you cry then you are made of stone.
This will undoubtedly be a classic and there is the appetite for strong female protagonists right now – Wednesday Addams put that meal on the table! A great family favourite made even better than the original.