Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Plot: Controversial media consultant Clint Briggs is an “unredeemable soul”. However, the Ghost of Christmas Present is convinced that Briggs’ redemption can become a positive influence for the greater good of humanity.
Review: Charles Dickens’ timeless Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol” comes to life onscreen once again in this peppy, Broadway-inspired musical comedy, Spirited. The film is directed by Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses 2, Daddy’s Home) and starsg the ever-popular comedic actor Will Ferrell (Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and handsomely chiseled, quippy Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Free Guy).
While the film may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s an entertaining frolic with sincere lyrics, talented dancing, and strong comedic chemistry between the main leads. Spirited’s story has got a bit of a twist to it as well. If you’re going in expecting a straight-up replication of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, well you’re dead wrong!
Will Ferrell stars as the Ghost of Christmas Present (GCP) who for almost two centuries has worked to redeem at least one soul or “perp” per Christmas season. He’s been eligible for retirement for decades now but always postpones it. While on the hunt for another soul worth redeeming, GCP notices controversial media consultant, Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds). However, GCP finds out that Briggs is what is known as an “unredeemable” but pushes for a chance at redemption thinking that it can cause a positive ripple effect on humankind. GCP gets a little more than he bargained for as Briggs turns out to be a tough chestnut to crack. Briggs turns the tables around on GCP and instead has the ghost beginning to question if he made up for his past failures. GCP also wonders if he is indeed deserving of a second chance at a mortal life should he decide to finally take his retirement.
The antics that ensue are hilarious and playful as they poke fun at the fact that they spontaneously feel the need to burst into song as well as the fact that a spotlight comes out of nowhere as they perform their numbers. The rest is the development of the story through uplifting lyrics that fill the hearts of its audience with the spirit of the season. Will Ferrell surprised me previously with his vocals in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Here I’m pleased to say his vocal range is genuinely more developed in Spirited. My favorite musical numbers are “Good Afternoon” and “Unredeemable”.
Ferrell and Reynolds are fantastic together during the riotous scenes and the ones that tug at the heartstrings. Parents should be warned though, there’s a fair bit of swearing. Then there’s the unexpected love story between actress Octavia Spencer’s character Kimberley and GCP.
The drawbacks of the film happen to be the long run time, clocking to two hours and seven minutes. This leaves spaces where the story becomes tedious and slow between the musical numbers. Also, the musical numbers themselves tend to run longer than necessary. While the ending is surprising, it feels a bit rushed and takes a bit of wind out of their sails. But there’s a happy ending, nonetheless.
And I just thought that I should take the time to mention that there is a point in the story that deals with the negative effect of cyberbullying which results in a child committing suicide. This is not so much a drawback as it may be upsetting to some viewers. I will not condemn the sequence entirely because more people need to be made more aware of this sensitive topic. It was made abundantly clear in the film that it’s an important message to the audience that needs to be discussed with your children as a precaution.
Spirited reinvents a classic Christmas tale making it more acceptable to modern audiences. It’s full of fun, musical numbers, and the opportunity to see Ryan Reynolds tap dance. So, to wrap things up I leave you with these words. Next time someone gets you all bent out of shape, just tell them, “Good Afternoon!”
Score: 6 out of 10
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More