The Nutcracker Review: A replug of older fairy tales

This Lasse Hallstrom- Joe Johnston movie manages to bring a new flavour, fairly portrayed. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (English)
U/A
Directors:  Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston
Rating: 2.5/4

Disney's latest production, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, is a visual treat for kids, but nothing new for a Dinsey fan. E T A Hoffmann's classic The Nutcracker and the Mouse King has already been told and retold several times in different versions.

Yet, this Lasse Hallstrom- Joe Johnston movie manages to bring a new flavour, fairly portrayed.

The movie, set in Victorian London, starts with a reluctant teenager, Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy), and her family celebrating Christmas Eve. The family has recently survived the death of Clara's mother, Marie Stahlbaum. The Christmas gift from her grandfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) — and another gift, a decorated egg with a lock, from her mother — takes Clara to a fairyland, which is a set-up by her mother, the protagonist of Hoffmann's original story.

The story unfolds as Clara realises that she is an important character to the world she has entered.

Clara's character is quirky, less feminine and more assertive, unlike her siblings. This is established through sequences such as her confrontations with her father. Ironically, an inevitable "godfather" here also.

Keira Knightley's superlative performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy outstands even Clara's.

The Nutcracker outshines Disney's Alice in Wonderland (2010) and the recent Beauty and the Beast, as the fairyland presents a feast of landscapes and actions. However, the repetition of the themes, such as Clara running behind a mouse as Alice had run behind the white rabbit, and some sequences reminiscent of the 'Return of Oz' may make it a repetitive affair even for fairytale lovers. Sticking to 100 minutes, the film, however, doesn't lag much.

Beyond the graphics (which uses 3D technology pretty well), the background score and a few moments of dance, there is nothing much in this 'Christmas treat' that has arrived for Deepavali in India.

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