‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ film review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a confusing movie, to say the least, for more than one reason.
The plot is clearly constructed for children, but that is no excuse for the undeniably large plot holes which cannot be overlooked. Despite the children’s movie aspect, the film is incredibly creepy. The entire movie feels like a bad dream. It has a terrible score on Rotten Tomatoes—a sad 33 percent on the Tomatometer, which I surprisingly do believe it deserves since its redeeming qualities are far too few to boost its percentage.
The movie’s plot itself feels like a remade Alice in Wonderland, but Winter-themed instead. A young girl, Clara (Mackenzie Foy), finds herself at a ball and navigates long stretches of hallways until she appears outside in a snow-frosted forest filled with Christmas trees. Clara has no intentions or fears besides her one goal: Finding the key to a golden egg she receives for Christmas from her father, which was originally from her late mother. Clara meets friends and foes, but the plot twists are unoriginally rooted in her mistake of trusting characters with ulterior motives and bad intentions.
The ambience of the movie makes up for almost all the plot holes because it is so visually appealing. The scenes in the movie have a dreamlike characteristic—the entire film looks as though it may be slightly animated. The mouse king (a large monster made up of mice) is just one of the nightmare creatures in this movie. There are queens with cracked open faces, giant Nutcracker toy soldiers, and a strange, enormous tent of a mechanical woman chasing little girls in an abandoned forest.
Clara as a character makes me uncomfortable. She appears to have little to no emotion throughout the film. Her motivations remain unclear from start to finish, and her fears simply do not exist. It is a shame because the character, being so hollow, had a lot of room to be written as a strong and fierce Disney heroine.
At least the outfits in the movie are beautiful. I have a disposition for old-timey ballgowns and luxury embroidery. The makeup for the leaders of the four realms is absolutely delicious. The Lands of Flowers, Snowflakes, and Sweets have gorgeous set designs of exactly what you would expect. The magic of the movie is held in the beauty of the worlds: The excessive amounts of flowers covering every inch of the Land of Flowers; the sparkling ice houses and North Pole aura of the Land of Snowflakes; and the mouth-watering, bright pink, merry Land of Sweets.
The ambience of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is very Christmassy and Winter-centred. Although the movie itself lacks all ambition, the visual appeal is so remarkably gorgeous that I suggest watching the movie for just that, if nothing else.