Coming into Disney+’s Cruella I was skeptical. Seriously, another adaptation? But with a villain twist? Been there, done that. But then I thought, if we can have multiple Joker’s in one lifetime, then we can have all the villain stories and then some. Same thing goes for adaptations. No one complains when there are multiple Spiderman’s. So, I cut Cruella a break, didn’t go back and watch 101 Dalmatians, and gave Cruella a chance.
And the verdict? Well…I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Seriously, yes, it was weird. Yes, it was different. And yes, the chances of a baby being born with that hairs is practically impossible. But I loved the story that Disney+ told and how it was made clear why Cruella was doing this and that the madness that lived within her was a part of her that she wasn’t going to deny or ignore because it threw others off. This was her. This was Cruella.
As for Emma Stone, I walked into this movie knowing that she was a good actress. But that’s it. Glenn Close was the Cruella and I didn’t think anyone could top that. Surprise surprise when Emma went for it and killed it. Seriously, she made me believe that this is who she was and that every twisted bit of her was worth watching from start to finish. That speaks of an actress who can transform herself into the character she’s playing with an ease that makes you forget you’re watching a movie.
Then there’s her story as a whole. It was full of pop and glamour without getting lost in itself as it tried to prove that Cruella was the GOAT when it came to throwing it down via fashion and iconic looks. Which, we could sit down and talk all day about those looks. The fabric that disappeared with fire was boss. The trash dress surprised the hell out of me. But there was something so simple and stand out about her “The Future” face paint and outfit that had me going, “Yes, that’s the one.”
Back to the story, which we’ll be diving to spoiler territory. I did not see the Baroness being Cruella‘s birth mom. It makes sense because they’re two extremely powerful women. But the differences between them is what makes the difference at the end. The Baroness has no one besides her dogs. Cruella isn’t alone. She has a found family that has stuck with her through thick and thin. And the way they ground her is the reason why Cruella doesn’t transform into the Baroness.
Jasper, played by Joel Fry, is one of Cruella‘s confidants and family members. And I thank God that they didn’t make it romantic. He was just worried about her because they’re family and she was treating them like they were her servants of hers. Horace, played by Paul Walter Hauser, was a great counterbalance to Cruella and Jasper. He cared for both of them deeply and was willing to do what must be done for his found family. Plus his relationship with Wink the dog was adorable.
More on Cruella, I loved that she never let go of her mother. And no, I’m not talking about the Baroness. That was simply the woman who gave birth to her. I’m talking about Catherine. Even as Cruella grew into accepting who she was, even if that person was a bit mad, she never forgot her mother or the love that she held for her. She was the one who cared and helped shape her into existence. And Cruella will carry that within her for the rest of her life and whatever crazy adventures might come her way.
Ultimately, I want more Cruella. I kind of remember how the story ends; it’s been a bit since I watched 101 Dalmatians. But Cruella remains an infinitely interesting character. So interesting in fact that she keeps being compared to Joker. And to that I say, “Fuck off!” Cruella is in her own league where she doesn’t even recognize Joker as competition. She’s got her own road to travel down and whatever comes next will be undoubtedly more dynamic than anything Joker is up to these days. I said, what I said, and I’m not taking it back.
Until then, here’s looking to you Emma Stone. You killed it in Cruella and I hope those who watch this movie, recognize your immense talent!
Cruella is available on Disney+.