Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical - Review (London Film Festival 2022)
Maybe Not All Stories Have Happy Endings. 4.5 / 5
Directed by Matthew Warchus.
The inspirational musical tale of an extraordinary girl who discovers her superpower and summons the remarkable courage, against all odds, to help others change their stories.
Arrives in UK Cinemas: 25 November 2022
For those that haven't seen the West End adaptation, this new film immerses you in centre-stage as it transports you to the darkly whimsical world of Roald Dahl in a musical take on Matilda.
From its opening moments, the film makes you aware you are watching a musical with a capital M. From bright, colourful sets to tightly choreographed sequences set to the precise lyrics of Tim Minchin - it's a great introduction to set the tone for what's to follow.
With large shoes to fill, Alisha Weir arrives as the titular character, filling them with ease as she commands the screen amongst her strong British supporting cast. The epidemy of a triple threat, this re-invention of Matilda is full of imagination and has a hard start that would genuinely challenge Paddington. You do not want to be on the wrong side of it.
The supporting cast all make their mark on Matilda's world; Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough are despicably villainous as the Wormwoods, Lashana Lynch brings the purity and innocence that only Miss Honey could, and making the role her own Emma Thompson is unforgettable as the grotesque Miss Trunchbull.
The music and direction are both deeply layered and will need multiple viewings/listens to fully take in the level of detail that went into every line and shot. The amount of talent on screen is a sight to behold with large intricate sequences that gives off what I can only call 'theatre kid energy.'
This heartwarming fantasy really took me by surprise, you can really feel the love and dedication in every frame. It's a mischievous and revolting start to this year's London Film Festival.