When I was a child I remember hearing my infant teacher read the BFG to our class. She used different voices and was totally enthralling. Every year I heard another of Dahl’s stories and I began to read them myself. Soon I became a massive Roald Dahl fan.
About ten years ago I went to see the Tim Minchin musical version of Matilda and it blew me away. So I had very high expectations when they announced that Netflix was making a film production of that very musical.
My Thoughts On Matilda
I remember Matilda being released as a book in 1988 and instantly loved it. In my job I regularly read this book and other wonderful stories aloud to a class and they always soak up the witty remarks and hilarious plots.
Emma Thompson as the Trunchbull has gone down really well. She has created a character who is terrifying, awkward and very amusing. Seeing her stomping around whilst singing clever and funny lyrics, dressed as a tall, staunch hammer thrower, makes this film perfect in my eyes.
Newbie child actor, Alisha Weir, is well cast as the lead role of Matilda and fits in well with an already stellar group of actors, including the kind and tuneful teacher, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch). In keeping with the book, Matilda strikes up a friendship with her local librarian, who occupies a mobile library van in the film version.
Tiktok has gone crazy for one of the dance routines where the kids rampage down the corridors of their school, Crunchem Hall. As a musical, it is great, with a combination of sentimental, energetic and angry songs. Emma sings triumphantly in character and they all perform the lyrics live rather than miming to a prerecorded soundtrack.
In A Nutshell
Without giving too much away, it generally keeps to the original plot, with some additions to make it visually more stunning. The tiny details that Roald used are all there to be spotted and it even references several of his other stories at one point. Look out for a giraffe, a gypsy caravan (no doubt from Danny the Champion of the World) and a sweet nod to the BFG.
This musical is packed with fun, vibrant characters and incredible songs. I totally recommend checking it out at a cinema as it is just brilliant! Please follow my blog for similar future posts about books, films and the environment.