Newest Review: ... true American style, the villainous Miss Trunchball is played brilliantly by British actress Pam Ferris. Matilda is born to a family who ... more
Member Name: jhewson8
Advantages: an entertaining film
Disadvantages: only suitable for children
'Matilda' is a children's film based on a book by a famous author called Roald Dahl. This popular book was turned into a children's comedy film in 1996 by a well know director, Danny DeVito. The film is very well known all across the country with children aged 4-7.
'Matilda' has a spectacular plot, it is very tense at times, but yet, it is still a comedy. The films starts with an extremely talented child with special powers, called Matilda, being unloved and neglected from a baby. When Matilda became a little older, her parents started to leave her alone at her house while her mum Zinia Wormwood went to BINGO, her father Harry Wormwood went to work as an illegal car sales man, and her Brother Michelle went to school, but this was only at the age of 4. However, Matilda did like this because while they were all out, she went to the library and indulged in one of her favourite hobbies, reading. After she became 7 she was desperate to attend school, her parents denied her this until her father made a deal with head teacher Miss Trunchbull, she got a car and in return he got some money and Matilda was able to attend Miss Trunchbull's school. However the school was not at all what she expected, Miss Trunchbull, the head teacher, mistreated the pupils, she looked them in a tiny cubored all day, but In this cubored was sharp pieces of metal and glass sticking out of the walls, she called it the 'Chockey'. But it is true what they say, to every thing bad; there is something good, in this case, Miss Honey. She was Matilda's teacher and was very loving and kind to her; this is why Matilda used her powers to get back some of Miss Honey beloved items from Miss Trunchbull's house one night, but when Miss Trunchbull realises that Matilda did it, is there anything that can save her?
The characters in 'Matilda' couldn't be any more different from each other, Matilda's mum and dad, played by Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito, who are mean to Matilda, they make her watch television when she truly wants to read, her father said, 'There's nothing you can get from books that you can't get faster from T.V' .He also rips some of her books that she loves so much, accuses her of cheating, and never gives her the attention she needs. However, Matilda gave just as good as she got when she turned her dad's hair blonde and glued it to his hat (which pulled most of his hair out), and when Matilda was locked in the Chockey, she scared Miss Trunchbull out of her own house! So it is clear that Matilda, even though was denied love as a child, was very, very, talented and bright, she also knew how to get her own back on some of those horrible people, but only with of course the help of her powers! Danny DeVito has written the script like this because he wants the audience to sympathize with Matilda, but he has also made Matilda get her own back, this makes the audience also feel that Matilda is not a week little girl, so they like her more, this is because they feel like she can stand up for herself. Miss Jennifer Honey was also neglected as a child, when her father, Magnus, died when she was only 3, and her not having a mother, after also dying when Miss Honey was young, Miss Trunchbull took on the duty of being Jennifer's guardian, and as you can imagine she got very neglected, Miss Trunchbull even broke Miss Honey's arm! This makes the audience like Miss Honey; this is because they feel that even though she had to spend most of her childhood with an evil woman, she still turned out a wonderful, kind lady. It also makes the audience dislike Miss Trunchbull because she was so mean to the more likable characters.
The non-verbal communication in 'Matilda' is very well thought of, Miss Trunchbull always carry a frown and an evil look in her eyes; she never makes an effort to look good, she is always wearing a plain black outfit, her hair always looks un-tidy and she never wears make-up, this all helps to make her more angry, stressed, strong, and man like. Danny DeVito has done this to make the audience feel more scared of Miss Trunchbull, this means they like her even less. On the other hand, Miss Honey is the complete opposite, she is always smiling and looks happy, her hair is always neat, she wears light make-up, this means her face has more colour and personality to it and she always wears light colourful dresses. All of these things put together make Miss Honey feel light and fresh, this makes the audience think she is kind and loving, resulting in them liking her more.
The music in 'Matilda' helps to set the scenes in all the different chapters of the film, for example, when Matilda had finally learned how to control her powers, she had a little fun with them, she decide that she would make playing cards fly around a room and flicker the lights, Danny DeVito has made the scene more light hearted and fun because of the happy and fast music, it also make you want to have those powers for yourself to play with, this makes the audience see the fun side of Matilda. However, the music can be used to make a character seem more nasty, like Miss Trunchbull. Miss Trunchbull carries a strong, tense, fast music around with her, Danny DeVito has done this to help Miss Trunchbull betray a more nasty character, and it also makes the audience feel tenser when she is around, this resulting in the audience not likening her around. When Miss Honey is around, there is usually no music or very light music this is because it sets a very natural and fresh atmosphere, it also helps Miss Honey feel more innocent, this means the audience likes to have Miss Honey around, unlike miss Trunchbull!
In chapter 10 of 'Matilda', Danny DeVito has used quiet a lot of close up camera shots. Using close up shots, make to atmosphere feel tenser because it focuses on the person in the frame and nothing else, this makes the audience aware that some thing is about to happen to that person, this making them tenser because they are not sure when something is going to happen. Danny DeVito has also used a bird's eye view shot in this chapter, he used it when Matilda was arriving at her new school for the first time, he let the audience see only the front arch of the school so they had to wait to see what it was actually like, he also let the audience see the reaction on Matilda's face, although she looked surprised, this means that she could have been surprised at how nice it looks or how horrid it looks so it makes the audience want to see the school even more, But Danny DeVito has made you feel excited to see it, so when the audience see what it looks like, they are disappointed and feel even more sorry for Matilda.
Like all films Matilda has good and bad points. The ending to the film is spectacular, who could of predicted that Matilda would live the life she always dreamed of, she went through so many bad things with her parents and Head Master Miss Trunchbull, and at the end of the film, Matilda's parents move away from Miss Honey who Matilda loves so much, but yet she couldn't ever be happier! The camera shots in 'Matilda' are all excellent to; Danny DeVito has used the right shots at the right time, this resulting in tenseness when he wants it and relief from tenseness when he wants it. But of course it does have a few small parts which could use in proving, at the start of the film it may seem confusing to small children, because the audience doesn't know where the family is and what they are doing because they are picking Matilda up from some where then she has been put in the boot of their car and forgotten about, to young children, this may become a little confusing. Also, there are several occasions where we don't know if Matilda has done things with her powers or it is just by chance, like when their television blew up, Matilda was staring at it, so did Matilda blew it up or was it just by chance? Other than that, there aren't any things than can be improved on.
In conclusion, 'Matilda' is a superior film with great amusement to it. 'Matilda' has many fine points to it, and has only a few small bad points. It really is a must see family film, and is perfect for a rainy day and even a good day! The director of the film, Danny DeVito, has made a wonderful film out of a great book by Roald Dahl. All of the cast on 'Matilda' are very talented and Danny DeVito is extremely talented, he wrote the script, directed the film and played Matilda's father. Matilda really is a spectacular film and adds that hint of magic to life!
Summary: A great child's film that is fun for all the family on a rainy day