Cruella Movie Review: The Best Live-Action Villain Movie of All Time (5 Stars)

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Wow, just wow. I loved the movie – Amazing acting, marvellous outfits, gripping plots and super-adorable dogs. 

This is one of the best Live Adaptation of animated movies ever. The cast, the story, the screenplay, music, everything is 10 on 10. It doesn’t matter, whether you were the fans of 101 Dalmatians or not, this movie will make you. The story will keep you hinged to the movie and your seats for the whole 123 minutes, don’t miss the credit scenes. 

The powerful cast –

  • Emma Stone (Cruella de Vil aka Estella von Hellman)
  • Emma Thompson (Baroness von Hellman)
  • Hoel Fry (Jasper Badun)
  • Paul Walter Hauser (Horace Badun)
  • Mark Strong (Valet John)
  • John McCrea (Artie)
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Anita Darling)
  • Dogs (Wink, Buddy, Ghenghis)

The story is about the Origin of Cruella de Vil aka Estella von Hellman and what made the evil genius fashion Designer. 

The story begins with her being born with Poliosis, two-coloured hair. As a child, she was rebellious and wanted to become a fashion designer. But her dreams get shattered when her mother is killed by the Dalmatians Trio, which she feels is her fault. Now an orphan starts living with Jasper, Harold, Buddy, Wink and becomes a thief.  

Ten years later, she uses her talent of fashion designing in hustling and stealing with disguises. But she never really forgot her dreams and hence, on her birthday, Jasper gets her a cleaning lady job at the Liberty Department Stores owned by Baroness von Hellman, a renowned and Haute Couture Designer. But when her manager refuses to promote her, she gets drunk and redesigns the window displays and wounds up getting a job under the Baroness. 

Her eye for fashion and spectacular designs makes Baroness like her. One day Estella recognises a necklace Baroness is wearing, she recalls the same necklace was given by her Mother (Catherine Miller) as a family heirloom just before she died. Baroness tells her that her necklace was stolen by her employee, who fell off a cliff. She calls her employee a bad mother as she couldn’t raise a snowflake child. 

So, Estella plots a plan to steal the necklace. She crashes Baroness party, introducing herself as Cruella with her original hair (Black-white). However, the plan was extraordinary but it failed when Estella saw the necklace on Baroness’s neck. Till now, I really hated the Dalmatian Dogs – they were aggressive and violent not adorable. 

She soon finds out that Baroness killed her mother by blowing a whistle which made her dogs attack her mother and she fell off the cliff. There are five stages of Grief: 

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
  • and as per Cruella, the sixth stage is Revenge.

So, she sets off on the path of revenge to destroy Baroness who killed her mother. She kidnaps her Dalmatians because one of them accidentally swallows the necklace. She recruits Artie as a designer as she sets off to destroy the image and fashion mongrel brand of Baroness. She joins hands with her old school friend, Anita Darling, working as a gossip columnist to gain publicity. Meanwhile, she is working for Baroness as Estella to destroy her fashion shows. 

She steals the show wherever Baroness makes an appearance. But when she sabotages Baroness Spring Collection at Regent’s Park, she gets caught after Baroness realises Cruella and Estella are the same. Baroness ties Cruella and sets fire for her to die while she gets her friends Jasper and Horace arrested. 

Cruella is rescued by Baroness’s Valet John, who tells her that Baroness is her birth mother. He reveals the necklace has a key that opens a box that contains her birth certificate. He tells her Baroness never wanted a baby and as soon as she was born, she told him to dispose of her. So, he gave her to Baroness’s maid, Catherine, her mother. The shock of the baby dying killed her father.

Now, she sets out for revenge. She rescues her friends from the jail and hires Artie again. She takes the benefit of the world knowing Cruella is dead and sabotages Baroness Charity Gala by sending every guest her designed clothes and hair (Black and White) from Baroness side as a tribute to Cruella.

Cruella dressed as Estella tells Baroness that she is her daughter. To which Baroness pretends to hug her and then throws her off the cliff. The twists here are:

  • First, when she was throwing Estella off the cliff, people were on the terrace and saw everything.
  • Second, when Baroness threw her off the cliff, Estella was wearing a parachute as she was counting on Baroness doing her evil thing.

With Baroness arrested for her murder, Estella returns as Cruella, who now owns Baroness fortune which she transferred to herself using Estella’s name. She enters the Hellman Hall, with the Dalmatians (Ghenghis being pregnant). She names herself Cruella De Vil (From her stolen Panther De Ville) and renames the manor, Hell Hall. 

In the credit scenes, we see the Ghenghis kids (Pongo and Perdita) being sent to Roger (Ex-Lawyer of Baroness) and Anita. Roger is working as a songwriter and is composing the song “Cruella de Vil”.

My review:

The movie is one the best live-action movies I ever saw and I really loved the origin story of Estella aka Cruella. The powerful portrayal of Cruella by Emma Stone, makes us love her geniuses and evilness, all at the same time. 

The movie fashionably portrays the fight of Mother-Villain vs Daughter-Villain. As Cruella calls it, the movie is a poetic justice to Disney and live-action movies all around the world. We do get a hint of Cruella wanting to make a coat out of the Dalmatians.

The story made me love Cruella so much. The origin story is amazing with spectacular outfits, fantastic acting, the perfect plots and the cutest dogs ever. 

This is the best movie of 2020-2021, Period. When I saw the trailer I wasn’t excited, although, the fire transition of the red dress caught my attention. I didn’t have expectations from the movie and hence, I loved and enjoyed every bit of it. The casting makes the movie stand out from the rest of the movies. 

Emma Stone nails the British Accent, the evil getup and maybe this was the movie, we all needed but never wanted. Emma Thompson is a perfect evil mother and gave the story the origin of evilness it needed. Friends, do watch the movie- It’s the perfect combination of Fashion and Dog movies.

Devil Wears Prada was nice but this movie certainly raises the bar with its signature outfits, evilness and story.

To be honest, I have never seen so many Indians in one foreign movie ever. This movie clearly shows that London is the city of Indians as well. 

About Post Author

Pallavi Gupta

A wandering soul finding solace in the tidbits of life and the little things it has to offer.
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