#REVIEW: “THE GRINCH”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
The Grinch is the newest retelling of the Dr. Seuss beloved Holiday Classic. The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) lives an isolated life with his faithful dog, Max, in a gigantic cave inside Mount Crumpet which overlooks Whoville. Christmas is just around the corner and the Who’s down in Whoville are preparing to have the biggest Christmas spectacle they ever have. The Grinch becomes disgruntled by the thoughts of his lonely childhood Christmas and hatches a cynical scheme. That plan is to dress up as Santa Claus and steal Christmas from The Whos.
Right from the beginning, there is a sense that this is going to be an updated retelling of this beloved classic tale. The Music, performed by Tyler The Creator, creates an atmosphere that helps the story feel more today. There has also been new characters and updates to the personalities of the classic characters, most importantly Cindy-Lou (Cameron Seely). In previous accounts, she has been a girl who is all-around sweet and innocent. However, Screenwriters Tommy Swerdlow and Michael LeSieur have turned her into a caring and fearless girl who intelligently hatches a plan to physically catch Santa. In doing this they have modernized Cindy-Lou and made her relatable to audiences today. Then there is the impressive animation that captivates and awes from the beautiful colours used for the Whoville’s Christmas to the meticulous movements of the snow. The animation also brings The Grinch’s disbelief, anger, and grumpiness to life in a vibrant way.
When it comes to the voice actors Cumberbatch knocks it out of the park as the grumpy green guy. He has found glee in The Grinch’s most cynical and loathsome moments that make The Grinch one of Dr. Seuss’ most loved and memorable characters. The supporting characters are also made memorable through the voices of Kenan Thompson and Rashida Jones. The newest and best character in this version of The Grinch is Thompson’s Bricklebaum, the jolliest and obsessed with Christmas Who, who is hilarious and unforgettable. Meanwhile, a heartwarming and funny Jones as Donna Lou, is overworked both at home and at her job. Then there is Pharrell Williams who does a great job of keeping the narration we have all heard before entertaining.
Overall, The Grinch is a modern retelling of the Classic which remains faithful to prior incarnations.
Universal Pictures Canada release THE GRINCH on Friday, November 9, 2018.