Cruella: From the Villain’s Perspective


Courtesy of Disney

Linda Xie

You’ve probably heard about Cruella on various social media platforms this summer. The immense hype surrounding this film is phenomenal partly because of Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone, who portrayed this mysterious dog-hating villain who seeks revenge on the world that turned on her when she was young. This film is the newest addition to the list of growing adaptations of the original story, 101 Dalmatians (1961). In fact, it is the sixth film based on the original book. However, instead of viewing life from the Disney Dalmatians’ point of view (the Dalmatians have a minor role in the movie), it shows us the story from the eyes of the so called “villain,” much like Disney’s Maleficent from 2014.

The movie starts out with a little girl name Estella who is born and raised by her mother. She is always looking for the latest trends and her school can’t seem to keep up with her creativity. She doesn’t fit in and she isn’t like the other kids. Estella frequently stirs up trouble among her peers which lands her in the principal’s office more times than fingers can count. Finally, she is suspended from school and forced to find a new home far away.

Later in a terrible twist of fate, Estella’s dear mother is accidentally killed by a pack of dogs. As an orphan, Estella flees to London and joins a group of thieves who take her in. The story continues with many plot twists and shocking truths that are revealed. Other than the reimagining of a beloved Disney film from 1961, showing the sympathetic side of the villain, the film also explores the wild fashion from the 1970’s which were heavily influenced by punk rock trends. The costume pieces are one of the most wonderful aspects of the film.

So, the big question, is Cruella worth watching? Coming from someone who has watched this entire film, I give this movie a solid 4.2/5. This movie is fresh and fascinating and so much different and mature from other Disney movies (but it’s still suitable for teens).

The movie provides a villain origin story explaining how Cruella became the despicable “dog-hating lady.” Cruella is a fantastic movie and I highly recommend it for your consideration. Rating: 4.5/5 stars