A Review: Into The Woods, are you paying attention to the lure?

Into the Woods

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Introduction to Into The Woods

The cinematography of Into the Wood is exquisite capturing a graphic depiction of the Grimm Fairy Tales. We know them to be dark to begin with, yet in this depiction, there are some interesting twists. While not for children, it does have the ability to engage adults in conversation as to the positives and negatives of this world, or woods, we currently live in.

The introduction of the movie is a set up of the Grimm Fairy Tales that are demonstrated realistically in a dark manner. The tales of Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, all told by the story of a Baker and his barren wife. The reason I say dark is that this movie does not leave out the grim of the Grimm Fairy Tales.

For example, the devious witch is quite scary for children. The ugly stepsisters are completely aloof, extremely insensitive and greatly spoiled. They even cut off their toes to fit the shoe for the prince seeking his princess. The wolf is of course sly, in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, and the realness of being swallowed up and cut from the belly of a wolf is not made easier just because grandmother is in there with her. This is not like the biblical Jonah, but rather a horrific experience that is truly a fairy tale. It is highly doubtful that Little Red Riding Hood would come out unscathed in a new coat made of fur. This is what tales do, they stretch the imagination, allowing the story to take on a different meaning for the individual viewer.

Be careful what you wish for...

Be careful what you wish for...

The movie has its sweet spots engaging one to believe that everything will work out but does it? The prolog unfolds the fairy tales. Each tale presents the idea of making a wish but being careful what you wish for. While the music is entertaining, the early part of the movie is simply what one would expect from the Grimm Fairy Tales. However, the twist comes after the wedding of Cinderella to her prince. In this scene, it appears that everyone has gotten what they wished for, but this is not the end of the movie!

The next part of the movie has a destructive entry back into the woods. This is where the characters are faced with the reality of their choices. They were willing to do anything to get what they wanted, and once they had it, they began to self-destruct because they weren't satisfied. It demonstrates how one person making a bad decision can start a ripple effect causing havoc on the entirety of the wood.

I made a reference to some that the movie had biblical points. However, many will misconstrue the reason for this comment. My thought was that the biblical references would need to be inferred rather than cited. A deep sadness came over me while watching the film. I began to realize a connection between the woods and the destructively enticing world of sin that we live in. The wishes were related to greed, sloth, envy, coveting, adultery, violence. I slowly became enlightened as I witnessed the precious stories from the Bible flippantly used in misleading and subtle ways.

Jack used a slingshot and a rock to kill the giant. Little Red Riding Hood met the wolf and strayed from the path she was instructed to stay on by her mother. The wolf then swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, yet, they are released from the belly of the wolf with lessons learned and safe haven.

Does this get anyone else's attention, remember David and Goliath, the story of Jonah? David was small in stature, and still able to conquer the much larger Goliath, with the grace of God and a rock. Jonah did not follow the instructions from God. Like little Red straying to pick flowers and not listening to mama, Jonah too strayed from the path discounting the instruction and ending up in the belly of a whale. He was eventually spit out to resume the original path God had chosen for him, and we know Red was cut from the belly of the wolf, whew!

Then there’s the song “You Are Not Alone,” you can choose what’s good, yes, you can, but do you? Do I? How often do we find ourselves entrapped in the woods relying on this world? Comparing ourselves to other people’s choices rather than depending on the script we've been given. This movie can be seen in a biblical way, but the biblical interpretation must be inferred by you. You must seek your heart and know you are not alone. Where do you seek the solace for your aloneness?

You are not alone

You are not alone in the woods there is one watching over you always!

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You are not alone, but who do you put your faith in?

While this song is beautifully sweet in caring for others, it is so sad that the message is based on people. My thought is yes, no one is alone. However, it is not the people we should depend on, they are apt to disappoint as in the movie, but rather God who is always with us. Again one must infer a Christian meaning, or we get caught up in the reliance of one another, as opposed to like yokes fueled by the light of Christ from within our hearts.

The woods are a dark dreary place, especially alone. You may feel alone, without a faith in God which untangles the woods. Nonetheless, God is always there in the woods, so we must be careful what we wish for. You are not alone, we can rely on one another as long as we have faith in the power of God which is far greater than any entanglement in the woods.

Stay With Me.

Stay with me...

For parents, this movie has so much to offer, great insight as to how we depict the woods for our children. We must trust that once we have taught them in the way they should go, God has us release them "Into the Woods."

There is a tough reality in the song “Stay With Me.” As a Christian, I know God loves them more than I, and yet the pride of the woods is binding to a mother’s heart. Letting go is never easy. unless I trust that this world is for a moment. I am reminded that my trek is merely a path to my forever home. Knowing this allows for a beautiful release as I watch my children go "Into the Woods." There is a wonderment in watching them untangle themselves with the grace of God.

As a mom, I too can become entrapped. I sometimes lose my way in the darkness, making mistakes, not being careful what I wish for, forgetting we are never alone. Often it's my beautiful husband and children, that help me find my way back to the path. They remind me of who I am in Christ, and I am so very thankful for their accountability.

"Princes wait there in the wood it's true, Princes yes, but wolves and humans too." I am one of those humans, humbled by my reflection in the woods. I feel extremely blessed to know that I am not alone there, no one is, and thus surrender comes with a bitter sweetness.

Children do listen, and if taught love as God loves, they will continue to learn and share what they know while helping others through the woods. This mother's heart will ache as they go, but the ache will dissipate to an awesome joy in knowing what is on the other side.


My viewpoint on Into the Woods

This is my two cents on into the woods. I have enjoyed the Grimm Fairy Tales, I grew up with them. I was able to dream of my future prince, learn from the interpretations along the way. Sometimes these stories were used to help teach the ideas of right and wrong, good and bad. I was frightened at times by the tales and even embarrassed at my occasional behaviors that simulated the not so nice characters. These characters made me think and work toward changing for the better.

I was also raised in a home where the stories of the Bible were a constant. I could relate and see God using all things in my life. I just wonder, what might the story have taught us had the woods not overtaken the characters? What might have happened, if instead of getting tangled in a mess of destruction, they sought out direction from the Holy Spirit? What if they were not focused on their single wish, but rather trusted their life was designed for a purpose that was not for them to decide? What if they hadn't strayed from the path or one another? What if they hadn't stolen, lusted or given into greed? I can hear Our Father in heaven singing the phrase, "Children won't listen." I suppose it all depends on the books you read and how you interpret the stories.

I love a good movie. I'm not a prude by any means, but I love God so deeply that I see most things in the way they relate or do not relate, to the word of God. Some will agree, many will not, and that’s okay. If you do nothing else, please listen to the last song I have posted here, "You are not alone." There is someone who wants your heart, it's not a guy, not a prince, not a girl, not a princess, it is a King and He is amazing! He will help you through the woods.

Blessings to you as you travel through the woods and peace in your stages.

You are not alone He is with you through it all

You are not alone...

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Is it possible to see reference to the Word in all things?

Is it possible to see an interpretation of the world in the entanglement of the woods, and more possible to see how one can make anything relatable to the Bible if that is where you seek direction?

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12 comments

The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 18 months ago Author

Agreed Bill, Meryl is a talent to behold and she never dissappoints. This was an awesome movie and very thought provoking. I could watch it again and again. :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

We went to it and loved it. Streep can do no wrong as far as this movie goer believes.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 23 months ago Author

DDE - Thanks I appreciate the read, my daughter told me she saw it in a different light as well after reading this. Writing is a cool way to change perspective's at least when we open ourselves up to possibilities. God is so good and seeing Him in all things is awesome!


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An interesting insight to Into The Woods, you certainly got my attention.


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

An interesting insight to Into The Woods, you certainly got my attention.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 23 months ago Author

Dear Ms. Dora,

Thank you for the comment, I hope you get to see the movie. I would love to hear your point of view. Blessings to you in your futuea stages.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 23 months ago Author

North Wind,

I see we agree, such a blessing to have a few out there with a similar viewpoint. The children are our future, and we must protect them and teach them in the ways they should go. It is refreshing to see that some get the points I was trying to make, with this review. Thanks for the comment and read and blessings to you always.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for your review of "Into the Woods" citing your godly interpretation of the secular happenings. Well done!


North Wind profile image

North Wind 23 months ago from The World (for now)

I have not seen the movie but I did read about the Jack and the Beanstalk part and my mind went right to David and Goliath as well. I do tend to analyze things according to the Bible. I have grown quite wary of Hollywood and the messages they send especially to children. They do know that children listen and they want the children to listen to them and live in darkness instead of light.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 23 months ago Author

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I love your comment. It's always good to take a second look with reflection to the word and how it applies to anything and everything in our corrupt world. We can see how God is working in all situations, if we look at things from a message perspective. Your the best!


Volleyball0429 23 months ago

I agree with your review of the movie. I

Can see the biblical reference and look forward to watching it again with these stories such as David and Goliath and Jonah in mind


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 23 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Children do listen - sometimes more than we would like - while appearing to take absolutely no notice of what is going on. This looks like an interesting film, I must watch out for it.

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