Disney’s Cruella, the origin story to the arch-villain of the classic 1961 animation and subsequent sequels and live-action remakes, has been turning heads and winning critics ever since its release in May.
The film features standout performances from Emma Stone as Cruella herself, Emma Thompson as the wicked Baroness, Emily Beecham as Cruella’s mother, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as intrepid journo Maya, Mark Strong as the Baroness’ valet John, and Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as Cruella’s crafty henchmen Jasper and Horace.
The film has been so successful that it has already been confirmed for a sequel, with the suggestion that Emma Thompson could pen the script. And aside from its all-star cast, the film itself is absolutely bursting with visual delight. If you’re yet to see the movie, the big screen is definitely where you want to take it all in. And the good news is, eBay shoppers can access cheap tickets, and take advantage of eBay’s $11 movies every Tuesday.
The offer is open to all eBay shoppers. All you need to do is head to eBay for the details and follow the prompts to book your $11 tickets for Tuesday showings of Cruella and all the latest releases. eBay Plus members can also get $25 HOYTS LUX tickets and this is the perfect film to add a little luxury to.
While you’re waiting for your session time to roll around, here’s why Cruella is such an essential film for right now with choice spoilers kept to an absolute minimum.
Why Do We Need This Film?
Publications like Variety have claimed the film might be one of the best of the year, and while many agree, not everyone is on the same page.
Forbes had an interesting take, highlighting that Disney villains don’t really need to be understood. That’s more for the likes of shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, where there’s the opportunity for long character arcs that allow for dimension and human nature to really flourish and shift through.
Disney villains on the other hand are evil, straight up. They need no more motivation than being evil as plot devices to create good narratives. Why were Cinderella’s step-sisters so wicked? Why did the witch in Snow White have it in for the titular hero? We don’t really need to know and we happily accept them for what they are.
Cruella de Vil is a puppy skinner. That’s her motivation. In the 1961 film, she steals the 15 dalmatian puppies of Pongo and Perdita and buys 86 more from shops around London before instructing her henchmen to kill and skin them. (So, technically she owned most of the puppies who were then stolen from her…).
That’s evil, by anyone’s book. Why do we need to know what happened to her to make her so cruel? Well, because it’s interesting.
It’s very much the same card that Disney played with Maleficent. We’re seeing the company turning to its own back catalogue to flesh out old narratives and side plots that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day.
Think Rogue One. Technically, that didn’t need to happen. But, it’s a great film that adds depth and richness to the Star Wars universe that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Same goes for Cruella.
A Film for All Seasons
The film itself is a visual triumph as mentioned above. It exceeds expectations in its 1970’s, Vivienne Westwood-inspired punk rock costume and set design with some truly stand-out imagery and fascinating scenery. There’s one bit with an impromptu concert that is seriously something but we won’t say more.
On the topic of music, the film hits a tonne of high notes and caps it off with the one song you just knew they had to play (see if you can guess it). It pays beautiful homage to the era with a slew of covers and riffs on old classics that evoke the spirit and style of the times and remind you that fashion and statement was once truly exciting, rebellious, and offending of sensibility.
While Cruella is ostensibly a kids film, it earns its PG-13 rating with a run of adult jokes and darker humor that ought to fly over the heads of younger ones but is definitely there for the 1996-Glenn-Close era fans. We’re also constantly reminded of the fact that our lead anti-hero might actually kill and skin some dogs, so it doesn’t exactly walk entirely in the light. This is after all, supposed to be the descent into madness that would motivate someone to do that.
The earlier films, and especially the original iteration, were also starkly all-white affairs. Cruella brings the narrative into the 21st century with heavy representation of non-white actors. This, however, does not stretch as far as the main characters, though it’s excellent to see that we don’t have to keep 1970s British conceptions of society.
Ultimately the film is a celebration of weirdness and a reminder to let your freak flag fly. While it’s difficult at times to follow the madness of Cruella as a character since, you know, she’s a baddie, the authenticity and sticking to her guns that the character espouses is still a great take-home message.
While it doesn’t quite tie up all of the loose ends and lead us naturally to the start of 101 Dalmatians, there’s clearly been room intentionally left for a sequel and we’re thrilled by that fact. The post-credits scene alone is enough to gear us up for another outing so ensure you hang around long enough for that.
With incredible delivery from Thompson and Stone, a wash of resplendent imagery, and a soundtrack that will have you stifling a sing-along in the cinema, Cruella is very much the film you need to get out and into the cinemas to catch.
To bag yourself a cheap Tuesday night thrill, head to eBay and follow the prompts to book those eBay Tuesdays tickets.
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