Updated: May 5, 2020 1:11:46 pm
There are so many fairy tales out there, but in only a few of those do the old and the new worlds collide in wondrous, childlike ways. And at the time Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams starrer Enchanted (2007) was made, just a handful of such stories had been successfully told on the big screen. The Disney flick forged a new path for such a narrative. Written by Bill Kelly and directed by Kevin Lima, the fantasy-musical also featured Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey and Susan Sarandon in significant parts.
The story begins thus — Giselle, the archetypal Disney princess — is leading a fulfilling life in her animated world of Andalasia. She has her prince charming and her favourite animal companions by her side. However, a twist of fate lands her in the modern, live-action world of New York City where she meets the single father Robert Phillip (Dempsey), who lives with his daughter and discourages her to harbour any kind of affinity towards fairy tales and magical lands. As suspected, mayhem ensues and a love story begins to blossom. The handsome James Marsden provides quite the comic relief as the tights-wearing knight in shining armour — calling the television set ‘magic mirror’ and escaping the ire of bus conductors and essential workers in broad daylight in his ridiculous costume. What is also interesting to note here is that Enchanted not only parodies previous Disney classics, but makes references to itself. The songs are a blast, especially the romantic number “So Close” recorded by Jon McLaughlin. The movie mixes all the ingredients of a Disney movie and spins out a fresh garment from old cloth, almost effortlessly.
The highlight of the film is of course princess Giselle — bumbling, confused, stunning and kind. She is enterprising too and is shown creating an entire dress out of curtains and doormats during one particularly hilarious sequence. Adams not only looks the part, but aces the character’s body language, musicality and emotional depth. Out of the 15 songs on the film’s soundtrack, Adams has voiced three — “True Love’s Kiss,” “Happy Working Song” and “That’s How You Know.” So, for those of you who didn’t know, the versatile actor is a triple threat — she can act, sing and dance! What also made Adams’ performance remarkable was the sincerity with which she carried out the ludicrous parts of her character. As they say these days, she owned them.
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During an interview with the Collider, Adams had explained why she could embody the naivety of Giselle so well. She said, “When I first read the script, I felt like I knew who she was and I felt that it was something I understood, oddly enough. I think that I’ve always been attracted to characters who are positive and who come from a very innocent place. I think there’s a lot of room for discovery in those characters and that’s something I always have fun playing. And I didn’t treat it like it was a joke. I treated it like it was Chekov and maybe they sensed my sincerity.”
Enchanted is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
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