Movie Review – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

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Young Clara Stahlbaum is devastated by the death of her mother, Marie. She is also confounded and disappointed that Marie’s final gift to her is a locked egg-shaped box. Eager to discover the secret within the mysterious box, Clara seeks out her inventor godfather, Drosselmeyer, when attending the latter’s party on Christmas Eve. Drosselmeyer agrees to help but tells Clara to first return to the party. Later, when hunting for Drosselmeyer’s Christmas gift to her, Clara is magically transported to a fantasy world. There, she discovers her mother was once the queen of a magical kingdom.

Snappy Review

Prior to watching, I was puzzled why this came out about Halloween instead of before Christmas. I mean, the Nutcracker Suite is still a Christmas classic, isn’t it? Modern retelling/sequel, or not?

Thereabout half an hour into the movie, the reason became clear. Christmas is but the fuse for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and once that purpose is completed, the big day is shoved aside. This, I should highlight, isn’t necessarily bad; it was largely the same in the ballet too. The problem though, together with Christmas goes the rest of the magic. Once the actual story starts in earnest, it’s one sleepy trudge till the end. Not even Keira Knightley’s delirious performance managed to save the show.

What went wrong? Oh dear, so many things. The backstory, crucial to understanding what’s going on, is spottily presented. You never do know for sure what the eggnog is happening till the final third. And even then, many things still do not connect.

The Nutcracker Soldier, the secondary hero of the tale, is also, well, just plain vapid. Full of uninteresting and unfunny dialogue. Frankly, quite lacking in heroic charm as well.

And then there’s the curious lack of magic, in what is very ostentatiously a magical land. I’m aware that flashy magic was also absent in the ballet, but given this is a cinematic tale, why the decision to omit that? Why the emphasis instead on science and clockwork wonder when the Nutcracker is beloved as a story built on magic? Perhaps this was the Disney’s concept of a creative retelling. To me, unfortunately, it was just boringly dry. Dry, and quite sleepy too.

 

 

Scribbling Geek

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* The geek is a lover of everything birthed by imagination. He constantly dreams about faraway lands and distant realms, and through writing, envisions himself as a product of these places.

 

 

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3 Responses to “Movie Review – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”

  • LIONS:

    UMM,I PREFER TO ‘WATCH’ *ONE WISE OWL FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS’ NE$t*?

    JACK NICHOLSON was great but i dont know about LEE AH LONG.

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  • HarderTruths:

    Thank you Geek for the review.

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  • Singapore Ah Seng:

    My family and I went to watch the movie last Saturday. My wife was busy on the phone while my children actually felt asleep watching the movie.

    Bought elite seats thinking that the movie would be good but it was indeed boring

    There were only 8 movie goers in the entire cinema

    Must admit the main actress was woody and face was not innocence type. The way she scream at the mouse was hideous. The story line was not interesting at all. Sigh….

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