Matilda Review- By Michael Carlisle

 Title: Matilda
Year: 1996
Director: Danny DeVito
Country: US
Language: English

As a 90’s child there are certain 90’s movies that give me great feelings of nostalgia because I watched them during my childhood. These films include Harriet the Spy (1996), Indian in the Cupboard (1995), The Pagemaster (1994) and Matilda (1996). Unfortunately none of these pictures are well known nowadays and probably won’t be seen by the next generation, however of all these Matilda is a picture I find myself enjoying even in adulthood.

Based on a book by Roald Dahl, Matilda is the story of a wonderful little girl (Mara Wilson), who happens to be a genius. The film is also about her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Throughout the picture I was wondering “When is CFS going to step in?” Seriously, Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman’s characters are awful parents who really don’t care about their daughter, blatantly being verbally abusive towards her. The cruel headmistress Mrs.Trunchbull deserves to be put in jail, she literally throws children out two-story windows if they misbehave. The antagonists in Matilda’s life are terrifying to see as a child and even more discerning to see as an adult. However that makes the audience root for Matilda even more; we pray that she can survive her family. 

Director Danny DeVito does a great job at showing us the story through a child’s eyes. The world seems bigger and more threatening to a small child, yet Matilda also shows us that anything is possible. Her quirky attitude and great imagination make her world brighter. I don’t understand the Director’s choice to have himself narrate the film, it’s unusual because he also plays the abusive father and both roles are in stark contract to one another. I’d rather have a protagonist like Matilda’s teacher narrate the film.

In conclusion, Matilda is a wonderful 90’s family flick that still manages to impress audiences today. Though every actor puts on a hammy performance, it adds to the child-like atmosphere of the picture. The soundtrack is also lively and fun to listen to. 3.5/5

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