‘Cruella’: A Surprisingly Fun Adventure

I was definitely one of those people wondering how exactly this movie was going to work. Because I didn’t know if I wanted to see Cruella De Vil get a redemption arc. I certainly wasn’t sure she deserved one. But I gave Cruella a shot anyway. And I am so glad that I did. Because this was one hell of a movie. One that I’m going to be watching again and again. So read on for my Cruella review! But be aware that there are spoilers galore ahead!

Typical and Not So Typical

So there were some things about this movie that followed the typical Disney tropes. One of which being that Cruella’s mother was killed not too far into the film. And I’ll admit that it had me rolling my eyes a little bit while thinking about how typical of a beginning it was. But it didn’t take long for me to go from eye-rolling to engrossed. I knew that Emma Stone’s portrayal was going to be kick-ass. And I absolutely expected her to knock it out of the park. Expectations that Emma Stone once again surpassed. But I was pleasantly surprised with the way Tipper Seifert-Cleveland was able to make me love a young Estella.


Image via Disney

She was brave and bold. And she had confidence pouring out of her very soul. Estella just wanted to make her mother proud and looked up to her with everything she had. And Tipper brought it! She and Emma were the perfect pair to play the two versions of Estella that we got to see. And whether I wanted to admit it or not when I first started watching, Estella had so many reasons to become Cruella. The fashion environment alone that she so desperately wanted to be a part of was a breeding ground for evil. Fashion has always been portrayed as a career that can easily bring out the worst in a character. Also, can I just say this soundtrack blew me away? I wasn’t expecting a musical. But I certainly wasn’t expecting a kickass soundtrack like what we got. Color me impressed!

Descent Into Villainy

I like that Estella always had the Cruella side of herself. Because at first it was rooted in the confidence of her own opinions. Overbearing and a bit rude at times, sure. But it never seemed to come from a place of malicious intent when she was younger. As she got older, she still had the desire to make her mother proud and she did her best not to do it in a cruel way. But when it came time to facing the Baroness and learning the truth about what happened to her mother, that Cruella side of her came out and once it did, there didn’t seem to be any way of putting it back. Then even more truths came out and I pretty much figured that was going to be the end of whatever parts of Estella were left.

Not only was Catherine not really her mother, but the Baroness was actually Estella’s mother. The woman she so admired at first and wanted to be like. The woman she ended up hating and wanted to take down to avenge Catherine’s death. That woman was Estella’s real mother. So the Cruella we know from all of the 101 Dalmatians movies and all the other iterations of the character came to be. So I don’t think this was a redemption story for the character as much as it was an understanding of how she came to be so evil. And while I don’t love the character, I certainly don’t despise her the way I did when I watched the first animated movie I saw her in. So that’s something. Okay, I’ll admit it. I find myself ready for a complete redemption arc.

A Little More Love

I really liked that we got to see a bit more about Jasper and Horace as well. The fact that they were made to be more than they were in the other films was a nice change. But more than that, I liked the connection that seemed to exist between Jasper and Estella. To me, it seemed like their bond was pretty close to being love. It certainly seemed to be that way from Jasper’s side anyway. But to me, it was also made clear that Estella was the one he was in love with, not the Cruella side of her that she let loose. Though I do think Estella loves Jasper as well. But maybe that’s just my shipper heart talking. Or my hopeful side being open to every villain getting their redemption arc. Well, almost every villain.


Image via Disney

And maybe he hangs around in hopes of the Estella side of her coming back to the foreground. I’m left hoping there’s a sequel. Maybe one that comes after the 101 Dalmatians movies. Because maybe the sequel could provide us with a redemption arc. As much as I can’t believe I’m saying it. Maybe there could be a happy ending for Cruella. Also, this movie left me wondering if Cruella De Vil ever actually killed a dog. Or did she just let others think she had the way she did with the Baroness? Have you checked out this latest iteration of the infamous villain yet? Or is it one that you don’t find yourself interested in? If you did watch it, find and follow us on Twitter @capeandcastle to let us know what you thought of the film! And be sure to check out our site for more content!

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