Director Robert Zemeckis’s remake of Roald Dahl’s adventure/comedy classic The Witches promised a scary, funny and imaginative tale. One about a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches.
Instead, ‘OK’ is the best I can say about the film. Anne Hathaway’s performance as the main witch wasn’t bad and I liked some of the special effects. Nevertheless, there’s a certain simplicity in the story execution that left me uninspired and dissatisfied.
In fairness, The Witches is based on a famous children’s book. So, naturally, I wasn’t expecting a sophisticated adult tale. Yet, I still hoped to feel more pleased to have watched it than I did.
Luckily, I managed to find parts of the movie that stood out to me in a good way. For example, the above perfectly infectious smile on Anne Hathaway’s face, Chris Rock’s fun voice/narration, the ‘comforted’ feeling I experienced once Octavia Spencer’s loving grandma character showed up. I also enjoyed the musical score and the wonderfully suspenseful scene that involves the task of getting the potion into the pea soup. A moment that took me right back to my favourite Disney Pixar movie, Ratatouille (2007). Lastly, there’s the very pleasantly dramatic dining scene that follows the pea soup ‘flavouring’ incident.
Overall, it’s ultimately the relationship between grandma and grandson that I loved most about The Witches. It’s just a shame that I didn’t find the film as a whole to be as satisfying as my favourite scenes in it.
Give The Witches a chance if you’re especially curious. Undoubtedly, it’s young children who will enjoy it most.
Happy Film Loving