Once Upon A Time

It’s that Tuesday, after the Australia Day holiday, and by the end of this week, life for most will be pretty much back to normal. Students will have returned to school, the buses and trains will be standing room only during peak hours, and we will certainly notice the difference on the roads.

Only those students of higher education get a slight reprieve and have a few precious weeks longer before their noses too are put to the grindstone. And, it’s tempting to take some time out and wish our life was like a fairy tale…

I am a big fan of fairy-tales. I don’t discriminate, I like them all. From the light and bright tales about Disney princesses to the darker, and sometimes menacing, themes portrayed by Portuguese artist, Paula Rego, fairy-tales can tell us a lot about life.

My "go to" summer tote bag - it's light and bright, and features all the Disney Princesses, if you look close enough

My “go to” summer tote bag – it’s light and bright, and features all the Disney Princesses, if you look close enough. Personal photo.

Portuguese artist, Paula Rego, shows us a darker side of what happens when you bite into forbidden fruit

Portuguese artist, Paula Rego, shows us a darker side of what happens when you bite into forbidden fruit.

Photo courtesy http://www.pinterest.com

Paula Rego's interpretation of "Alice in Wonderland"

Paula Rego’s interpretation of “Alice in Wonderland”.

Photo courtesy http://www.pinterest.com

Into The Woods

And, that’s why I wanted to see the film, Into The Woods because it promised to interweave the plots of several fairy-tale favourites, and lots of great actors had signed up for key roles. Into The Woods is based on a musical that includes lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine.

The Witch, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Wolf are just some of the characters in “Into The Woods”.

Photo courtesy http://www.contactmusic.com

But, it won’t be to everyone’s taste – B&W was greatly relieved when I said my friend, A, wanted to go with me. I think the idea of a fairy-tale musical put him off.

The village baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) have everything they want except a child, and are devastated to find out the reason that they cannot is because a wicked witch (Meryl Streep) placed a curse on the baker’s father.

The reason for the curse? The baker’s father stole six “magic” beans from the witch’s garden because his pregnant wife was craving greens.

The baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) must go into the woods to find the goods to break the witch's curse

The baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) must go into the woods to find the goods to break the witch’s curse.

Photo courtesy mondeanimation.tumblr.com

Oh what a high price the baker’s father had to pay for these beans! The nasty witch made the baker’s father and his wife promise to give her their unborn child and the baker’s sister (who we later learn is Rapunzel). And, if that’s not punishment enough, the witch casts the curse of infertility upon future generations.

Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) and the "other" prince (Billy Magnussen)

Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) and the “other” prince (Billy Magnussen).

Photo courtesy http://www.assignmentx.com

The witch says the curse can be undone if, and only if, the baker and his wife can produce: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold, all before the chime of midnight in three day’s time. The witch has an ulterior motive as well, because the ingredients can be used to create a potion – an elixir, to restore her youthful beauty.

You can see where this is going… and several other fairy-tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella need to come into the mix in order for the requested items to be found. What will it take for the Baker and his wife to get their wish, how far will they go and what will they compromise to achieve their dream of having a child?

All the characters paths eventually lead “Into The Woods”, and it’s a frightening place – where all sorts of dangers lie, and many of the characters lose their bearing, both morally, ethically, and otherwise. Danger lurks everywhere, most notably in the form of The Wolf (played to his eccentric best by Johnny Depp).

What happens when Prince Charming is ‘charming’ in name only? Chris Pine who plays Cinderella’s Prince Charming has a brief romantic interlude with the baker’s wife (Emily Blunt) and excuses his behaviour by saying the unforgettable line, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

A montage of the "charming" but not always sincere prince, played by Chris Pine. Cinderella is played by Anna Kendrick

A montage of the “charming” but not always sincere prince, played by Chris Pine. Cinderella is played by Anna Kendrick.

Photo courtesy http://www.gopixpic.com

But, is it suitable for children? Maybe not for very young children, but there’s plenty of humour for teens, particularly the singing of “Agony” – a vocal duel between the two Prince Charmings (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) to determine which prince has suffered the most for love. Teenage fans of The Big Bang Theory will recognise Christine Baranaski, Leonard’s mother in the series, playing the role of Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, to perfection.

Cinderella's wicked step-mother and her two ugly step-sisters, Florinda and Lucinda

Cinderella’s wicked step-mother and her two ugly step-sisters, Florinda and Lucinda.

Photo courtesy wwww.pinterest.com

All the characters’ wishes come true (in one form or another) but then, everything falls apart, thanks to a female giantess who seeks revenge after Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) caused her equally large husband to meet his demise. So our fairy-tale characters have do deal with death, infidelity, disillusionment, and finger-pointing before they accept a communal healing process. Rather a bit like real-life, I say!

But in real-life do we get to dress like this?

And keep lots of people in business.The corset and skirt: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label / Crown: Slim Barrett / Jewellery: Marni, Louis Vuitton, Temperley London, Pebble London, Links of London

And keep lots of people in business.The corset and skirt: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label / Crown: Slim Barrett / Jewellery: Marni, Louis Vuitton, Temperley London, Pebble London, Links of London.

Photo courtesy http://www.pinterest.com

A ballgown fit for a fairy princess by Vivienne Westwood

A ballgown fit for a fairy princess by Vivienne Westwood.

Photo courtesy http://www.pinterest.com

And wear shoes like this everyday?

Vivienne Westwood again - these shoes come in a selection of colours

Vivienne Westwood again – these shoes come in a selection of colours.

Photo courtesy http://www.pinterest.com

Spend long, languid mornings in our boudoir-cum-dressing room?

Spend our days luxuriating in these surrounds - thinking about how to keep the dust of the chandeliers and the mirrors clean!

Spend our days luxuriating in these surrounds – thinking about how to keep the dust off the chandeliers and the mirrors clean!

Photo courtesy KLMircea via Photopin and Creative Commons

But the catch is, how do we earn the income to maintain all this as well as our castle and its gardens?

Castles are high-maintenance!

Castles are high-maintenance!

Photo courtesy jerryzz via Photopin and Creative Commons

 I don’t know about you but its back to work for me to create something in between.

 

1 Comment on Once Upon A Time

  1. url
    November 5, 2016 at 3:23 am (8 months ago)

    your style of writting is very refreshing

    Reply

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