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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

“Cruella,” a surprisingly great 1970s rock fashion film dedicated to small details

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via imdb.com

Film critic Katen Adams reviews Disney’s live-action reboot of the classic “101 Dalmatians” featuring Emma Stone in the role of Cruella de Vil. 

Emma Stone walks the runway as Cruella De Vil in the recent release “Cruella,” directed by Craig Gillespie. Gillespie brings the villain to life through 1970s rock fashion and captures the rebel’s personality through her exotic flare. “Cruella,” released on May 28, is showing in select theaters and available to stream on Disney+ with premier access. 
Drenched in wigs, dresses and jewelry, “Cruella” has more than meets the eye with stunning cinematography. The film works around an already constructed idea of Cruella’s character because of the film “101 Dalmatians,” but Gillespie does a fantastic job of presenting the unexpected with Stone’s character. The dive straight into Cruella’s backstory and building on her passion for fashion gave the character further depth. Gillespie builds on his original ideas throughout the film but also ties in aspects from the original “101 Dalmations.” 
The best pairing in the film is the music accompanied by the phenomenal camera shots. The soundtrack alone fits like a perfect puzzle piece with each scene and sets the tone for what’s happening on screen,  with the 70s rock aesthetic. The reflection of a window display in Emma Thompson’s character, Baroness’s sunglasses and an overhead view of Stone walking the streets of London are only a few of the perspectives Gillespie nails when conveying this brilliant storyline. 
The brilliance of the film lies in the little details. There is irony in the dialogue, especially in Thompson’s lines, that can only be caught towards the film’s end when the plot twist reveals itself. Gillespie put enough thought into when Cruella’s iconic car and name would come into play. Stone even hunched over the steering wheel in a scene to capture the original character’s mannerisms. Cruella’s laugh from the “101 Dalmations” also appears on Stone’s TV in a scene early on in the film. The thought put into when these small details would arise sets the film apart from what it would have been without the fun ‘aha’ moments. 
Stone opens the film with narration, which can feel a bit overbearing at times, but the rest of the film makes up for the excessive amount of narration. Stone’s performance goes above and beyond the assignment. Even though Stone is originally from the United States, it seems almost as if she was meant for the British role. She brings identity to this villain, who in the film isn’t exactly the antagonist. As an origin story, Stone captures the personality of one of Disney’s long known villains but makes it her own by delivering humor through not only dialogue but also her facial expressions. 
Thompson has seen no shortage of big screens. She remains great in her ability to play authority figures, and in “Cruella,” Thompson’s performance is crucial. Stone and Thompson’s dynamic is essential for the plotline to work, and it surprisingly does because of how well the two capture their characters. 
After months of growing streaming services and watching new releases at home, this latest release, “Cruella,” is worth seeing in theaters. 

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