Movie Review – ‘Cruella’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

For the first time ever, I’ve seen a movie on Disney+ with Premier Access! That’s right! This Disney movie was released simultaneously at cinemas and on Disney+. And it was £19.99 well worth spent! I greatly enjoyed watching ‘Cruella’, a prequel film to the ‘The Hundred and One Dalmatians’ story. 🙂

The 1956 novel by Dodie Smith has been through quite a number of film adaptations with Disney over the years. There’s the 1961 animated film ‘101 Dalmatians’ and there are the two live-action films ‘101 Dalmatians’ and ‘102 Dalmatians’ starring Glenn Close as the very villainous Cruella de Vil.

There’s also been a TV show called ‘101 Dalmatian Street’ and the direct-to-video sequel to the 1961 animated film ‘101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure’. ‘Cruella’ is the third live-action film adaptation in the ‘101 Dalmatians’ franchise by Disney and has Emma Stone as the titular character.

It was intriguing to see this film be about Cruella de Vil and how she became a villain. I think this film is taking its cue from the ‘Joker’ film and focuses on what motivates Cruella to be as nasty as she ends up being. I’m glad it went down that route instead of the route ‘Maleficent’ seemed to go into.

I watched the two live-action films with Glenn Close as Cruella beforehand to get an idea of what this ‘Cruella’ film might be like once I saw it on Disney+. It’s ironic that Glenn Close happens to be one of the executive producers of this film as well as Emma Stone who plays the titular character. 😀

I greatly enjoyed seeing Emma Stone play Cruella de Vil and provide her own interpretation of the character. Beforehand, I’d seen Emma Stone play Gwen Stacey in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ with Andrew Garfield. She was also in ‘La La Land’ with Ryan Gosling. 😀

The film does portray Cruella in an intriguing light in how she ended up being a villain. Sometimes you can sympathise with her character and understand the pain she went through in growing up and what the circumstances were to end up as she is. But that does not excuse the cruel things she does.

‘Cruella’ is set during the punk rock movement of the 1970s. The film has a certain 1970s music soundtrack throughout it as my parents and I picked up certain songs being played like from ELO and such. My Dad enjoyed this film and he was able to pick up songs that were played in the background.

The film resolves around Estella/Cruella who tries to be an aspiring fashion designer before he becomes a notorious criminal. I enjoyed the disguise she put on as Estella with the red hair that was often dyed as well as being a wig. Very intriguing that Cruella was born with the black and white hair.

Joining Emma Stone is Emma Thompson (who I will always remember for that funny laugh at the end of ‘Sense & Sensibility’) as Baroness von Hellman. It was intriguing to see the Baroness’ character as a fashion designer and how she seemed crueller than Cruella, which does provide the twist later on.

There’s also Joel Fry as Jasper and Paul Walter Hauser as Horace. It’s interesting how Estella/Cruella met Jasper and Horace at a young age before they grew up with each other in London and became thieves. The friendship between Estella, Jasper and Horace is touching before Estella becomes cruel.

Emily Beechman stars as Catherine, Estella’s adoptive mother in the film; Kirby Howell-Baptiste stars as Anita Darling, Estella/Cruella’s childhood friend (I’m guessing that ‘Cruella’ doesn’t serve as a prequel to the ‘101 Dalmatians’ film with Glenn Close – unless Anita ‘regenerated’ from a black woman into a white woman at some point. 😀 ) and Mark Strong stars as John, the Baron’s valet/accomplice.

There’s John Crea as Artie who becomes a member of Cruella’s entourage, Kayvan Novak as Roger, the Baroness’ lawyer who becomes a songwriter after he’s fired and might be a love interest for Anita, Jamie Demetriou as the clerk Gerald and Andrew Leung as Jeffrey, assistant to the Baroness. 🙂

I liked the mid-credits scene at the end of the film where Roger has his Dalmatian puppy Pongo and Anita has her Dalmatian puppy Perdy. And it seems they were sent to Roger and Anita respectively by Cruella. I wonder if this is setting things up for a potential sequel to the ‘Cruella’ film. It’s possible.

I greatly enjoyed ‘Cruella’ on Disney+ and I’m glad my parents enjoyed the film too. Emma Stone does well playing the title character. It’s likely that my parents and I will be watching ‘Cruella’ again on Disney+. And we don’t have to pay for the film again as we can watch it as many times as we want on Disney+. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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