Disenchanted Review: Amy Adams' movie is a little less 'Enchanted', but still doused with wholesome joy
Read Pinkvilla's review of the Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden and Idina Menzel starrer Disenchanted below. The movie is a sequel to the 2007 hit Enchanted.
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Amy Adams,Patrick Dempsey
Rating: 3.5 / 5
In Disenchanted, fifteen years after attaining her happily ever after - through a true love's kiss with her human prince charming - Giselle (Amy Adams) finds herself claustrophobic in her "real" New York City family life with husband Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a now teenage Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) and their newborn. Feeling suffocated and yearning for her Andalasia fairytale to return, Giselle moves the entire fam to the suburbs, Monroeville, much to Morgan's utter "sarcastic" dismay. As expected, life gets even more complicated for Giselle, especially her fractured equation with Morgan. Using the wishing wand gifted to her by Edward (James Marsden) and Nancy (Idina Menzel), King and Queen of Andalasia, Giselle wishes for a fairytale beginning. While her wish comes true, she soon comes to regret the same, as she has a stereotypical Evil Stepmother transformation while Malvina (Maya Rudolph), the neighbourhood Queen B becomes an actual Evil Queen. Before the clock strikes midnight, the wish needed to be, well, un-wished!
After watching Disenchated - as a big fan of Enchanted and someone in dire need of an escape from reality (Enough with the bittersweet endings, already!) - Disenchanted further proved how Amy Adams is the beating heart of the revered Disney franchise. While Giselle's exuberance was a breath of fresh air in the original, this time around, Amy Adams gets a lot more mischievous as her beloved character battles between being the hero and villain in her own story. Amy seamlessly switches between the two contrasting avatars, flaunting her comedic and acting chops in equal measure, as Giselle hilariously has an identity crisis. On the other hand, we get a jaunty performance from Gabriella Baldacchino as Morgan, who isn't the wide-eyed child who was mesmerised by Giselle's magical personality in Enchanted. This time around, we get a reserved teenager, who harbours hidden resentment and pity in equal measure when it comes to her stepmother, which eventually boils over. Although, this aspect of the storyline isn't dealt with full-fledged. However, Baldacchino manages to still win you over, especially when she gets to act alongside Adams. If there's one thing that doesn't change in Disenchanted is that you're still left fluttered by Amy and Patrick Demspey's delectable chemistry, no matter how limited it is...
While Patrick Dempsey's Robert takes more of a backseat in the sequel, we still get some witty scenes featuring the actor trying hard to be the stereotypical knight in shining armour, battling dragons and giants, and amusingly failing to save the day. Dempsey gets his mini-singing moments in Disenchanted as does the inimitable Idina Menzel's (Righting an Enchanted wrong because how was she not given a musical number in the original?!) Nancy, whose Love Power ballad - though cliched - is still the standout from a mostly forgettable soundtrack (Which is a travesty given the bangers in the original!). A special mention to Badder, a striking duet showdown between Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph, which is where the latter gets to truly shine as a baddie. Otherwise, owing to limited character development, Rudolph and her sidekicks Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays (who has her momentarily funny quips spruced!) as Rosaleen and Ruby are terribly underused. As is the ever-charming James Marsden as King Edward, who still manages to make you laugh with his 'OTT' Prince Charming act, even in barely there scenes. More emphasis on Edward and Nancy would have been a crisper angle to relish in Disenchanted.
While Disenchanted is packed with heartwarming performances, Brigitte Hales' screenplay has its fill of glitches in narrative as too many loose threads remain well after the two-hour runtime. Adam Shankman's directorial tries hard to updo the original, but that ends up affecting the overall storytelling. The musical numbers, though visually striking, get lost in translation. In juxtaposition, Dan Hennah's breathtaking production design and meticulous VFX are magical and more polished in the sequel. The animation during the Andalasia sequences, too, enthrals. As does Alan Menken's dramatic score. A special shoutout goes to costume designer Joan Bergin, who does the heavy lifting when it comes to differentiating between the two worlds and excels, especially with Giselle's good/evil outfits. In retrospect, Enchanted fans will, nevertheless, still be transported back to Giselle's magical world where animals talk and positivity reigns supreme, as did I, without missing a step. And that's because there's something spellbinding in the magic of a happy ending much after the ever, ever after...
Amy Adams, in Disenchanted, gets to show off her acting prowess with the evil stepmother twist attached to Giselle. Gabriella Baldacchino as Morgan is a refreshing screen presence and her sequences with Amy's Giselle are a personal highlight. Dan Hannah's aesthetic production design of Monroeville interlaced with the stellar VFX help elevate the visually pleasing climax of Disenchanted.
Disenchanted, though entertaining, can't manage to exceed the playful innocence of Enchanted. Maya Rudolph's Evil Queen act had plenty of potential but falls flat. There's a lot less James Marsden and I demand an explanation!
- Amy Adams seamlessly oscillates between Giselle's bubbly vibrance and lurking sinister act.
- Idina Menzel's Love Power and Amy Adams-Maya Rudolph's Badder are the standout musical numbers.
- The charming production design by Dan Hannah and intricate VFX weaved their magic throughout Disenchanted.
In finality, Disenchanted is no Enchanted, but still leaves you with a big grin thanks to Amy Adams' dazzling twin act.