Disenchanted Review : Amy Adams film is a little less enchanted but still brimming with joy

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A scene featuring Maya Rudolph’s Malvina Monroe appears an hour into The Disenchanted. She holds a scissor in her hand and commands the magical scroll to answer all of her questions or else she will go into editing mode. Instead of threatening the scroll, Maya ought to have pointed the scissor at director Adam Shankman and asked him to cut the movie. At least the movie wouldn’t have been disjointed!

Disenchanted, the wonderful 2007 film’s follow-up, recasts Amy Adams as the magical character Giselle and depicts her life after the happily-ever-after. Giselle is not only the mother of Robert’s daughter Morgan, but she also gave birth to her own daughter with Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey), who she is happily married to. The family’s upbringing in New York seemed to be going smoothly.

Giselle, however, misses the magic and the happily-ever-after lifestyle she imagined as a child in Andalasia, Narissa, the land of fairy tales. One day, she sees a billboard advertisement for a suburban community that inspires her to think she can begin a new life with Robert and their kids. Robert and Morgan attempt to blend in after moving in, but Giselle runs into her own set of antagonists, played by Maya Rudolph, Jayma Mays, and Yvette Nicole Brown. Giselle’s wish to relocate was granted, but her dream doesn’t seem to have been realised.

She acquires a magical wand that enables her to bring a portion of her fantasy dream to life. She had no idea that her quest for her dream life will lead her to both the fairytale world she was born into and the real world she currently lives in.

Disenchanted maintains the parody-style storyline from Enchanted. A success for the franchise is making fun of the characters from traditional fairytales while reminding viewers that magic is found within. Disenchanted, however, reverses the spell that Enchanted cast. Disenchanted seemed to be working extremely hard to make you laugh, in contrast to the original movie where the satire and commentary came natural.

And to top it off, the writing is disorganised. In its favour, the movie embraces experimentation, turning a kind-hearted Giselle into a nasty stepmother, enlisting people of diverse ethnicities, and finally letting go of whitewashing fairytales. The movie, however, comes out as tedious.

Despite having a shorter running duration than two hours, the film feels out of balance and even stretched at times due to the lack of depth in the sections that depict how the spell affects each character. This causes the film’s charm to fade even before the film’s finale. A minimum of five to seven minutes may have been cut from the conclusion.

The actors made an effort to improve the poor writing. Amy appears to be enjoying herself while juggling the roles of good and evil. Instead of playing things safe, the script ought to have given her more room to display her nasty side. Maya Rudolph is beautiful to look at. Despite having few meaty situations to act in, Maya steals the show in each one.

Gabriella’s portrayal of the modern Cinderella is entertaining to watch, but I wish the movie offered her more to work with than the clichés. Unfortunately, the McDreamy Patrick Dempsey felt out of place in the movie. Disenchanted performs admirably in terms of visual effects. Undoubtedly, it has a stronger visual presence than the original. But regrettably, as Disenchanted is a musical, I was unable to bring home any songs to add to my collection.

If you enjoyed Amy Adams’ portrayal of Giselle in Enchanted, as well as for the fun Maya Rudolph, I’d suggest you watch Disenchanted.

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