“An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results.” -IMDB
When it comes to adapting a Broadway/West End musical into a film, it is usually a giant hit or a giant miss. So it was with Matilda the Musical.
Matilda the Musical was a little darling at the 2013 Tony Awards, winning four awards. I’ve seen the play myself and it is a wonderful, catchy, more Dahl’d up and fantastical version of the story which worked incredibly well in theaters.
While the filmmakers attempted to bring that same sense of the fantastical to the screen, it just didn’t work as well. In person, the musical numbers are catchy when paired with exciting stage elements. However, moving these numbers to screen robbed them of their excitement and made quite a few of the songs drag on at length. I think both kids and adults will find it a bit difficult to get to the end of the movie, no matter how beloved the story is.
I’m sure I can be accused of favoritism as a 90s kid, but if you want a fun, heartfelt, exciting version, then it’s always worth going back to 1996’s Matilda, directed by Danny DeVito. Go ahead and wait to see Matilda the Musical on stage, where it belongs.
Rating: 5 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The School for Good and Evil, Newsies
With: Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch
Directed By: Matthew Warchus