I only watched three movies this past month, mostly because we’ve been marathoning too many tv shows to make time for a 2 hour film. But the one movie I actually went to the theater to see was Into the Woods, the big screen adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical.
Let me say up front that I am a HUGE fan of the original musical. My parents taped the live performance off of PBS when I was a kid and I watched it over and over. I had the soundtrack and memorized it. I was very nervous about the film from day one of its announcement. And after getting to think about it for a month, I finally have coherent thoughts formed about the motion picture version.
It is really hard to separate my knowledge of the stage production, the FULL STORY, from what we ended up with on screen. I know which songs were cut, which characters were lost, and what moments were missed.
The movie was alright on its own. Obviously it loses some of the charm, being a movie versus stage. I don’t think people truly understand the magic of seeing something on stage, having a performer belt out a tune, hit all the high notes, singing with a LIVE orchestra – no retakes, no edits. You can’t appreciate seeing the sets shift and move right before your eyes. That is the magic of theater, not the movies.