Surprise on Netflix: the musical of ‘Matilda’ with Emma Thompson is better than expected

Danny DeVitoin his role as director (which, although known, will always be striking), signed in 1996 Matildaadaptation of the fondly remembered children’s novel by the great Roald Dahl for those of us who were kids then due to the appeal of its rarity and singularities within the framework of family cinema. arrival at Netflix of a new version, and also a musical one, therefore generated both curiosity and doubtswhich, not without some surprise, are cleared in the process.

Some musicals arouse suspicion, especially those of a childish nature. Yes, it can’t be helped. However, Matilda by Roald Dahl. The musical, translation to the screen of the creation of Tim Minchin (songs) and Dennis Kelly (libretto) in the channel of the Royal Shakespeare Company, convinces and has your interest. The TriStar proposal and the platform work and show care, which does not mean that it presents aspects that could have been better applied (the descriptions of the schoolmates, their links with the protagonist) and that its two hours of footage bring extra minutes.

It does not fall from the imaginary to the first cinematographic modulation (with more magic, charm and blackness), and it is not that his songs are the ones that remain recorded and then they hum although they fit and agree with the tone of Dahl’s work and the image built of it. The themes imply an arduous translation work in the VOSE, in which it is noticeable that there is less literalness than usual. The dubbed version captures them in Spanish, a decision justified by the children’s public but which in this case brings artificiality (the lips are not rhythmic).

The film of Matthew Warchusauthor of the original musical version and, in the cinema, of circle of deceit and of pride, returns to the stark contrast exposed by Dahl between the brightness and potential of children and the darkness of adult attitudes. Abuse appears in the background. The iconic manifestation of the question and the abuse of authority is in the ruthless and monstrous Principal Trunchbullwhose portrait constitutes an exaggeration (hence the caricature, emphasized when she is unhinged) of the figure of the teacher who instills terror.

Emma Thompson plays the director Trunchbull in the musical version of ‘Matilda’
(Netflix)

Emma Thompson plays the role of the former hammer thrower, at the time played by Pam Ferris. It is palpable that the actress is having fun in a new transformation in the field of family pastime (her physical appearance of her in the two installments of The Magical Nanny). The look stops in the register of her, as in the cool girl’s parents, Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough (in a shocking profile if you look at his career).

In the case of parentsthat as they make clear they do not want Matilda, andThe mistreatment is clothed with inconsideration and incomprehension as well as coarseness (the tacky…) and cretinism. Those mentioned take over from DeVito himself and Rhea Perlman. It is also surprising to see lashana lynchassociated with strong characters, giving life to the sweet teacher Honey (Embeth Davidtz in the first film), along with the librarian, the honorable adult exception.

Alisha Weir, the new Matilda
Alisha Weir, the new Matilda
(Netflix)

The girl Alisha Weir transmits self-confidence as Matildaalso in relation to musical interpretation, and in fact does not make one think of the remembered Mara Wilson. The uniqueness of his character is reflected in his intelligence, his imagination (the story about the escape artist and the acrobat, later connected with the professor, a bond that could have been better realized) and the powers he discovers when he leads the rebellion against Trunchbull.

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Surprise on Netflix: the musical of ‘Matilda’ with Emma Thompson is better than expected