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Review | ‘Disenchanted’ is a simple sequel that uses and abuses the talent of Amy Adams

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15 years ago, Walt Disney took us on a fun and memorable adventure called “Enchanted”, the story of which followed Princess Giselle (Amy Adams), a young dreamer who was tricked by a beautiful and evil queen and found herself in our world, forced to adapt to a totally unknown reality. Now, in the middle of 2022, Casa Mouse decides to unlock our memories with the upcoming sequel ‘Disenchanted’, which arrives tomorrow November 18 in the Disney+ catalog.

The main idea of ​​the feature film is to explore what happens after “happily ever after”, putting an exciting spin on one of the most lovable and kind protagonists in the company’s pantheon. Here we follow Giselle again on an ongoing quest to keep all she has achieved alive – but realizing that things are not that simple. After all, she has to deal with the fact that her stepdaughter, Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) is a teenager, and also with the arrival of young Sophia in the family – which forces them to leave New York and takes them to the Quaint suburb of Monroeville. , managed by Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph). Believing she can save a piece of her homeland of Andalusia, Giselle encounters trouble that sends her into a fearless and reckless vortex that changes everything she knows forever – and one that involves a powerful magic wand.

After having a thorough discussion with Morgan, she asks that her life, in fact, turn into a fairy tale. What she didn’t imagine, however, was that the request would come true and seek out the classic story elements we’re used to to turn her into a villain. It’s true: having everything she ever wanted, the princess forgets that a fairy tale needs a vain antagonist, driven by ambition and without any empathy with others – gradually transforming her into an iconic copycat of movie villains (a cross between Lady Tremaine and Cruella de Vil). Enshrined in a nearly irreversible curse, she has the power to undo what she wants before the clock strikes midnight, to save those she loves and Andalasia herself, whose magic fades to eternal Giselle’s request.

The film doesn’t come close to the nostalgic grandeur of its predecessor, but it still serves as an honest assault, perfect for enjoying the end of the year. Adam Shankman, who returns to the director’s chair, leaves aside the visual spectacle of the first chapter (how can we forget the epic fight between Giselle and the Evil Queen?) and bets on something more family and intimate, touching on the picturesque and attenuating the scale of sets in order to shine the spotlight on the spectacular cast. Of course, the creative team hits the mark in the artistic direction and in the explosion of colors that delimits each of the acts of the work (highlighting the pictorial conflict between the before and the after of desire), but the rest is brushed with more subtle elements. simple notes and that can be a problem for the most avid fans.

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Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz were also set to return to the sequel, being responsible for the soundtrack and, as with other artistic aspects, there is something bucolic that pervades the original songs. Adams and Rudolph do spectacular and engaging work, while Baldacchino surprises us with a powerful interpretation and Idina Menzel, reprising Nancy, has her well-deserved solo and finds herself in a theatricality that sends her back to the Broadway stage; however, the instrument arrangement feels more like an amalgamation of previous Menken forays than something breathing on its own – a detail that extends even to the countless references played over the two hours of screen time.

The first half of the feature works in its entirety, taking the time to explore familiar ground and hint at what the major conflicts will be: the core core gears and intergenerational clashes between Giselle and Morgan; the menacing presence of Malvina; and the protagonist’s ultimate need to control everything around her and make everyone happy. With the arrival of the second part, in which we are invited to see how the plot will unfold, we perceive a fatigue that spreads until the final credits, marked by rhythm deviations and a strong emotional attachment to the past. . Fortunately, the chemistry of the cast and the candid nature of the production are enough to get us hooked and unable to look away, even for a moment.

“Disenchanted” may even have significant issues and not match the first movie, but that doesn’t take away from its beauty. The heart of the book is in the right place, and ultimately it fulfills its promise by touching on themes that speak to the power of memories of loved ones and those who can be called family.

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