Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

De Vil Is In de Details

Plot Overview

puppy dogRaised by sweet servant girl Catherine (Emily Beecham) in conservative '50s–early '60s England, Cruella, née Estella, was “born brilliant, born bad, and a little bit mad.” Trouble at school forces her mom to uproot them to another city, in transit to which her puppy dog Buddy escapes. Estella gives chase stirring up the local hounds who in turn knock her mom off a cliff. Estella, age 12, who under the best of circumstances has trouble with authority, must now fend for her­self as an orphan. She's like a character in a Vince Flynn novel:

like most geniuses, he was a little unstable. Rapp had gotten an up-close look at that instability in Sudan. Or was it Chad? In any event, his process always followed the same path. First, freak out. Second, calm down. Third, fix the problem. (103)


educational suppliesEstella, rightly nicknamed Cruella, fought with the bullies at school, was often called to the principal's office, and received blots on her record. At age twelve she'd accumulated so many demerits she was about to be expelled, forcing her mom to remove her from that school. As an inherent genius she'd managed education up to that point, thank you, mom. Now she has become a penniless orphan, but her dream is to become a fashion designer. How will she manage that?

J.B. Mozley, D.D., in a sermon on Proverbs tells us, “Pious and good men took those truths which they observed them­selves in the actions of men and the course of Providence, and made proverbs of them. They gave the rest of the world the benefit of their experience; they said, ‘We can vouch for this being true, because we have seen it; we have seen it constantly, time after time; you may depend upon it, because it is not a mere idea, it is a fact’” (98). Let's look at the words of a mys­ter­ious (Prov. 30:1) Agur a member of the North Arabian tribe of Massa, which were appen­ded to the Proverbs of Solo­mon, pre­served by the Jews in their Tanakh, ap­prop­riated by Chris­tians in their Bible, and even­tually sneaked into movies subject to my pertinent reviews. (Prov. 30:24) “"There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:"”

punching out(Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” The first guarantor of success is to start when but a callow youngster, in the summer of life, to work for one's bread. Cruella started as a grifter in Regents Park living by her wits. In ten years she was able to get on as a scrub­woman at Liberty of London, a department store. She had to work hard to keep her position there, punching a clock, but it put her in proximity to fashion where she awaited her opportunity. Thomas Edison once said invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. We know Estella is inspired, but that only gets her so far.

(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” It's as the real estate trade tells us, the three most important tenets are: location, location, location. The west end of London was the best place to be in the 1970's to launch into the fashion business. Estella was, by and by, able to up her game to the haute couture House of Baroness.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” Estella was able to capitalize on having helpful friends. She started in school by noticing an unpopular soul sister who was later to work in media. She joined a red­neck youth gang of Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) and Jasper (Joel Fry)—plus their two mutts Buddy & Wink. As she moved up in the world she befriended a dress shop owner Anita Darling (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) of inde­ter­minate sex. And lastly she found unexpected help from The Baroness (Emma Thompson)'s factotum John (Mark Strong,) a white dude with a shaved head.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” The pièce de résistance is when she takes hold of her destiny at the end to become Disney's iconic villain Cruella de Vil.

Production Values

” (2021) was directed by Craig Gillespie. The screen­play was written by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara from a story by Aline Brosh McKenna, Kelly Marcel, and Steve Zissis. The titular character was derived from the novel, One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. This movie stars Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong and Joel Fry. They seemed to be trying to glamorize the under­class and ridicule the upper- with­out quite getting it right. It was a hard slog to act through, although they seemed to pull off some of the humor. The dogs especially were a riot.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for some violence and thematic elements. The screen was awfully busy with people, dogs, and clothes, which I found to be visually discon­certing. The music only added to it. The realism was toned down in places to accommodate the PG–13 rating.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

As a guy I feel almost embarrassed to admit I even went to see this movie—slim pickin's these days. It started out as a kiddies movie then ended up a chick flick. I wasn't the least bit interested in the fashion, which formed the linch­pin of the plot. About half­way through, though, I found myself getting into it, what with the way movies mesmerize their audiences with a manu­factured universe. I'm not sorry I went, though I would have been had I left in the middle. The females dominate the males in every instance, which should please the feminists. If you're a guy forced to accompany your girl, just take your medicine and don't tell anyone.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Chick flick. Suspense: Predictable. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print.

Flynn, Vince. Total Power. Copyright © 2020 by Cloak & Dagger Press, Inc. New York: Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, 2020. Print.

Mozley D.D., J.B. Sermons Parochial and Occasional. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1880. Print.