Red Riding Hood (2011 film)
I honestly don’t know what to think when it comes to this movie. Despite the number of negative reviews scattered all over Facebook, I held on to my resolve of seeing it…if only for Amanda Seyfried. And I still tried to figure out what’s wrong with it, even if the two people flanking both my sides (Cris and Cham) were already facepalming every five minutes.
Well, the plot is as cliché as it could get and I could summarize it into:
“Valerie is in love with Peter but her mom wants her to marry Henry. It all seems so trivial, really, because the village is beset by a bigger problem: it is constantly attacked by a rampaging wolf every time the moon is full. Then a priest (Gary Oldman) with a large golden elephant walks into the village and tells everyone the wolf turns into a human being by day, making all relationships complicated because everyone in the village suddenly becomes a suspect.”
I wonder if my summary made sense because I, too, am still scratching my head in wonder. I feel like this is director Catherine Hardwicke‘s revenge on Twilight‘s author because she wanted Bella to end up with Jacob the hot, beefy werewolf instead of the floral-scented, glittery vampire Edward. Hardwicke directed Twilight and that much is pretty obvious in Red Riding Hood even if you don’t tell viewers this detail. The camera angles, the treatment, the transitions… I’ve always told my students that I can tell who their video production professor is just by looking at their thesis projects’ shots and editing. So yeah, this has Hardwicke written all over it.
It’s a pity how Red Riding Hood came out because I loved Hardwicke’s pre-Twilight movie Thirteen. I also appreciate how Hardwicke made Twilight movie more interesting than the book itself, which felt like slow torture. Now I’m deeply disturbed to notice that she might be going the way of M. Night Shyamalan (Last Airbender, which I reviewed in 2010).
I’m still scratching my head in wonder. So here are the reactions of my two seatmates.
Cris: You don’t abbreviate words in a period film. That’s why the entire thing feels off. The acting is also very theatrical.
Me: But Hardwicke isn’t a theater director.
Cham: It’s a stupid movie!!!
Me: Urr…can you give me something more substantial than “It’s a stupid movie!!!”
Cham: It’s a stupid movie!!!
All right. Here’s a more profound description of an epic fail, which I grabbed from my friend Elena’s FB Wall:
Len de Gracia I quote Catherine Rae Espinosa : “Amanda Seyfried looks pretty in Red Riding Hood though. And in case you fail to notice that Edward 2.0 is hot too, the director will keep reminding you of that with 360 camera panning until it’s seared into your memory.”
*Sigh* Methinks this film is a waste of Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman. The production design is something to behold, though. Then again, Hardwicke has a degree in architecture so I know she can perfect that.
My theory? I think if they made Red Riding Hood into an LGBT film, it would be a lot more interesting. Aaaaand…I don’t agree with Robert Ebert’s review, when he said that of all the fairy tales to turn into a movie about sexual awakening, this should be “far down on the list”. Dr. Jack Zipes, who holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, has already dissected the sexuality — inclusive of cultural and linguistic roots — out of this fairy tale in his book The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Ridinghood.