After watching Fight Club last night it would seem logical to assume that would be next on my review list. But I’m afraid not. For on Rachel Cavanagh’s birthday it was a throw up between The Parent Trap and Matilda. Unashamed to admit that I am a huge fan of both the latter won out on me this time.
Matilda is one of those films that has so many great moments that even though I haven’t seen it all the way through in a while, a simple YouTube search of the best bits brings great memories flooding back. I mean in all seriousness who could forget watching the Trunchbull freak out with a newt squirming around in her mouth, comedy gold as a kid and still amusing to this day. The adorable Mara Wilson first earned a special place in our hearts in family classic Mrs. Doubtfire as Natalie Hillard, and since the sad news of Robin Williams’ passing I feel a review is in order in the near future. Growing up with films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda was right up my street and I remember many happy viewing hours with the extended family as Mara took to the screen three years later in another instant classic.
Mara plays the titular Matilda in Danny DeVito’s 1996 family comedy of fantastical misadventures based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. Matilda, an innocent little girl with a passion for learning is neglected of the love she deserves from her terrible parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood(Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Often treated as a nuisance, interfering with the day-to-day running of Mr Wormwood’s unethical salesmanship a fortunate run in, in the eyes of Mr Wormwood, with the strict disciplined Trunchbull, the principal of Crunchem Hall, leads to Matilda being granted her wish to go to school. First impressions are extremely important after having dreamt of this moment for so many years but Matilda is undeterred by the shoddy exterior and run-down nature of Crunchem Hall and is just happy to be amongst other children.
It is revealed fairly early on that Matilda is no ordinary child. Her passion for learning led her to some amazing discoveries no least of all her telekinesis. Already adorably cute the fact that she can now move things with her mind makes her a superhero in the eyes of any child, myself included. In arguably the most memorable scene of the film, when ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ by Thurston Harris pops on the radio Matilda experiments with her new found magical powers. Innocently pleasing and immediately recognisable by her cheeky grin that feeds off the cheerio stacked floating spoon this is a scene that will never leave my memories of childhood. If you’ve ever tried to movie things with your mind I can alsmot guarantee Matilda was your inspiration, I know it was mine.
Forever nostalgic it is certainly a film that will stay in my collection for as long as DVD/Blu-ray players are compatible with modern technology, and on the sad day that digital media takes over we’ll always have Roald Dahl’s original creation to relish.
When Maitlda starts at Crunchem Hall fear is a dominant characteristic and understandably so. Fear of the Trunchbull who rules with a leather riding whip, fear that drives obedience into the rulebook of Crunchem Hall. Matilda with her bouncy personality and magical powers brings hope to the children of her class and ultimately brings about the breakdown of Ms. Trunchbull who has finally met her match. With brilliant side stories throughout that complement the main story perfectly this is a true feel good family film with a perfect ending. Just writing this has made me want to go and watch it again but maybe I’ll save it for a rainy day. With so many great memories at my disposal it’s easy to rate it a Must-see in the eyes of the beholder and maybe if I had never seen it as a child all those years ago I wouldn’t be as generous now but that’s the beauty of film right.
With an outstanding exclusive 5000 star rating from Miss Cavanagh, when asked to rate it out of 5 I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone in my love of this film.
* * * *