Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yellow Would Have Worked Just as Well

So it turns out Bart wanted to see Red Riding Hood, which just came to theaters this past weekend.  I've posted about it before and admit that I'd been interested in it.  A 'mature' take on the legend going back to its (often but not always) roots in lycanthropy?  Yes, please.

Well, we saw it.  No, thanks.  I didn't dislike the movie exactly.  It's not like I sat there wanting the damned thing to end.  But it's not as if I had been quite entertained, either.

The werewolf, I must say, is quite good.  A nice big beast.  Only drawback is he didn't walk on his hind legs.  I prefer that in a werewolf.  But a great design all the same.  Nice F/X, too.  Didn't look CGI to me at all (if it had been, which, in this day and age, one can assume.)

The problem with it, for me, is that it didn't use the 'original' story enough.  Yes, I knew it would veer, and I had wanted it to, since it's a variation on a classic.  But it just veered way too far in that it didn't really do the original tale at all.  Yeah, the elements were there.  Grandma, her house in the woods, a wolf, a woodcutter, the red cloak/hood and a basket and such... but consider that Grandma is spry as hell and never sick at all, the basket doesn't contain goodies and the woodcutter is the same age as Red Riding Hood.  The quickest way of making my point is that this film did not require it to borrow the tale at all.  It would have worked just as well without any of those elements.  It just happened to have them thrown in, you see.

I also have to give it credit for keeping me guessing (i.e. the identity of the werewolf is unknown by the village) but then again, once it is revealed it didn't really feel satisfying.  Not an eye-roller, just a little [without sarcasm] "oh, sure, yeah, okay."

So it's a little bit of a shame.  It had the potential to be deeply rooted in the pyschological and sensual/coming of age metaphors inherent in the woods and a young girl and just went with an almost but not quite cheesy werewolf mystery.

Oh well, it's not like I expected a masterpiece.

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