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  • Debbie Cerda


Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical is an ambitious and visually stunning film adaptation of the Tony award-winning stage musical, written by Dennis Kelly, directed by Matthew Warchus with original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Matilda Wormwood (Alisha Weir) is an inquisitive and bright young girl with a vivid imagination and an insatiable love for reading, quite unlike her lazy and conniving parents (Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough). Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood spend their days engrossed in trashy TV and con artist schemes. Matilda escapes her parents in books and story-telling, encouraged and supported by her favorite teacher, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) and story-loving librarian, Mrs. Phelps (Sindhu Vee).

Unfortunately Crunchem Hall is a less than ideal school, as its schoolmistress is the villainous Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson). Her methods of punishment are barbaric and sadistic. Matilda dares to stand up for her classmates and what she believes to be right against Trunchbull, with the most extraordinary results.

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical boasts a talented cast, led by newcomer Alisha Weir as Matilda, with excellent performances from Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, and Emma Thompson. The musical numbers are lively and well-staged, the young supporting cast are talented, and the film's production design and visual effects create a whimsical and magical world that is sure to delight audiences.

While Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical may please fans of the Broadway show, the film version has its share of flaws that may not appeal to all. The film suffers from its pacing – some scenes drag on and could have been edited a bit. The story also lacks the emotional depth and complexity of the beloved non-musical version of Matilda (1996), the characters are less engaging.

Some viewers may find the film's dark and macabre tone unsettling, as it does not shy away from the more disturbing elements of Dahl's story. While this is true to the source material, it may not be to everyone's taste or suitable for younger viewers – one chokey is disturbing enough, but a roomful of them is terrifying.

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical does have its moments of joy and wonder - I especially loved the subplot between Mrs. Phelps and Matilda during her storytelling sessions. While Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical is a visually stunning and entertaining adaptation of the stage musical, it may not live up to the high expectations of fans of the original book or 1996 version.


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