Ah, Stephen Sondheim, writer of amazing tongue-twisting lyrics, flat tunes and dark themes. That’s been his formula for many a year – the flat tunes aren’t deliberate presumably – and they are all present and correct in this film version of his adult take on fairy tales. Adult is certainly the word here, the underlying theme being human beings’ reluctance to grow up and face the real world, and the terrifying prospect of sex, while superficially there are blindings, stabbings, a prince whose eye wanders, an absent father, and plenty of death.
Throw in a top-notch cast – and James Corden – and you get a polished, great-looking and sounding, entertaining fable. The story itself peaks a little early and there are longeurs in the story of the giant, but overall it’s a successful adaptation of Sondheim’s stage musical. [Read more…]