Disenchanted Review: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel and James Marsden’s worthy sequel brings a ‘happily ever after’ post a wicked twist
Cast: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Idina Menzel, James Marsden, Gabriella Baldacchino, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Oscar Nunez, Griffin Newman
Director: Adam Shankman
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Disney+ has finally brought the sequel to a much-loved Disney movie Enchanted (2007). Titled Disenchanted it brings back Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel and James Marsden in the lead roles in the sequel. Maya Rudolph, Gabriella Baldacchino, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Oscar Nunez, Griffin Newman are the new cast members in Disenchanted.
The all-new live-action musical comedy features the lovable maiden from the fairy tale world of Andalasia who finally found her Prince Charming and happily ever after in the kingdom of New York City. However, after 15 years since Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) wed, with their growing family and the burden of bringing up two daughters, Giselle has grown disillusioned in the city and hence they move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search for a more fairy tale life.
Unfortunately, the life they envisioned is not a bed of roses and comes with its own set of hardships like a long commute to work for Robert and a new school for Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) and its own set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), who makes Giselle doubt herself more. However, what is that a little magic cannot better, eh, right? But think again, real world does not function like that we all have to find the magic in our everyday humdrum mundane lives without a magic wand.
Giselle, frustrated that her happily ever after has not been easy to find, especially now that she seems a bit estranged from her teenage-stepdaughter Morgan, turns to the magic of Andalasia for help and in process transforms the whole town into a real-life fairy tale, complete with the evil queen and evil stepmother stereotypes, placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy. However, like all fairy tales she is given a stipulated amount of time to reverse the spell and determine what ‘happily ever after’ truly means for her and her family.
Amy Adams as Giselle brings back her innocence and magic once again to Disenchanted. However, this time around it’s not all goody-goody and she gets to portray the evil stepmother role as well. Amy, with her impeccable acting skills superbly portrays the conflicting emotions as well as expressions, not to mention the catchy songs and dance that she delivers with aplomb. Maya Rudolph as the ‘evil queen’ serves as a good competitor to Amy and their face-off in the song Badder makes for an interesting watch. Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays plays the proverbial maids-in-waiting for the ‘queen bee’ aka Malvina Munroe and excel with their comedic acts.
Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden as the male leads do not have a lot to do but still manage to act their part well. It is also heartening to see Patrick dance and propel the narrative in this sequel. Marsden is probably the only character who has not evolved from the first part and that is understandable since he is still the King of Andalasia. He portrays his role well and sticks to the well-established character.
Gabriella Baldacchino as Morgan does a credible job with her performance and takes the story forward with her character arc. Idina Menzel impresses with her solid act as Nancy as she understands both the world of Andalasia and Monroeville, not to mention her song with Gabriella is one of the highlights of the film.
Director Adam Shankman keeps the musical lucid and clear with some breathtaking choreography, with the fairytale element making the film a visual spectacle. The film is essentially a mother-daughter story but with a difference and manages to convey the emotions and the fragility of the relationship perfectly. Credit should be given to Alan Menken’s music score as he returns once again to the franchise and brings back the magic once again. Stephen Schwartz’s lyrics keep the narrative moving and together they have managed to bring a worthy sequel after 15 years.
Disenchanted is streaming on Disney+ from November 18, 2022 and deserves a watch.
PeepingMoon.com gives Disenchanted, 3.5 Moons.