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Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda The Musical’ Review | A Whimsical Delight



Matilda The Musical was MAGICAL!, MISCHIEVOUS!, MIRACULOUS!,& MAGNIFICENT! Director Matthew Warchus splendiferously brings the WHIMSICAL! World of Roald Dahl to life alongside fantastical musical numbers from Tim Minchin showcases the power of Storytelling!

Matilda Wormwood (Alisha Weir) is a little girl with a big curiosity, a sharp mind and a vivid imagination – and the worst parents in the world. While her parents (Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough) content themselves with trashy TV and dodgy money-making schemes, she loves to lose herself in the pages of her beloved books. Where they are loud, selfish and unkind, she is a quiet observer, thinking up small and cheeky acts of rebellion and revenge. On Meeting her inspirational teacher, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch), Matilda is encouraged and begins conjuring her own fantastical tales. Excited to attend Crunchem Hall, Matilda is surprised to find the school is an ominous and oppressive place led by the huge and villainous Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson).

As well as the kind Miss Honey, the bright lights among the meanness are story-loving librarian Mrs Phelps (Sindhu Vee), and Matilda’s new-found school friends. Filled with an overwhelming sense of justice, Matilda dares to take a stand for what is right and teach the Trunchbull a lesson she won’t forget.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022


Bringing Matilda’s magic to the silver screen

“Matilda The Musical” has been brought to the silver screen by the man who won the Olivier and was nominated for the Tony in regards to the stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed musical, which premiered in 2010. Director Matthew Warchus showcases the power of the underdog and how any one of us might tackle the things that oppress us, the film carries a strong moral core about righting wrongs. The musical itself written by Dennis Kelly is so energetic, witty, and reminiscent of Dahl, it’s joyful and exhilaratingly magical as it translates from stage to screen. And after the successful theatrical experience, the film excitingly goes even further by exploring and delving deeper into Roald Dahl’s fantastical world bringing us into Matilda’s home, the circus, and throughout the hallowed walls of Crunchem Hall.

Matilda as a character to many readers is unique and inspirational and throughout the story, she’s there to help other people and change the world for the better. She is a survivor and an amazingly strong person because she is immensely brave. She stands up to people much bigger, much older, and much more physically powerful than she is. Of course, it’s a story in which the victories achieved by this unexpected hero are through the force of her brain power. This is a story that bigs up intelligence.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. (L to R) Meesha Garbett as Hortensia, Charlie Hodson-Prior as Bruce Bogtrotter in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

“Matilda The Musical” appeals to young and old audiences because of its whimsy wickedness and Dahl’s ability to create a colourful cast of characters. Casting these iconic roles was certainly an incredible feat as a star is born in Alisha Weir who portrays the titular character in her very first feature film production. Weir has a sense of maturity and can be a little bit naughty when she needs to be, she is an enigmatic character and for quite a lot of the story, she is quite earnest and unchildlike. When her parents are cruel, she is strong, she gets back up again. She knows she isn’t going to be with them for the rest of her life but for the bits that she is, she is going to show them that you can’t go around treating people badly, they need to be taught a lesson, Matilda is so determined that If she wants something, she’ll get it and she’ll do it.

Mr & Mrs Wormwood played charismatically by Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough act as if their basically children, they don’t see their daughter, they are very self-centred and egotistical their primary concern is making and spending money, often in a rather dubious and dishonest fashion, whilst Mrs Wormwood’s obsession for ballroom dancing seems to be her only real passion in life.. Matilda is at best an inconvenience to them and at worst someone to compete with.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

Miss Honey, portrayed by Lashana Lynch, is the emotional centre of the story and Lynch truly carries the role beautifully as everyone’s favourite teacher. She is someone who made a difference and when audiences come to this story, they are immediately on Miss Honey’s side, they value her immensely. In this particular story, she has a complicated and bruising backstory and the more that comes to light the more we realise she is a wounded healer. She has made a great deal of surviving on her own and helping the children that come through her classroom but not far below the surface, she is scarred and damaged. Matilda sees that and they see it in each other, that is their common ground and it creates a bond between them and makes them soul mates. She shares both incredible chemistry with Weir and Thompson who portrays the ruthless and fromiddbale Headmistress.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

Emma Thompson’s portrayal of the outrageous Headmistress Miss Trunchbull is absolutely scene-stealing. Thompson brings a threatening presence to her performance showcasing a serious back story that is important and gives a reason for the way she behaves whilst also providing some of the films gags and whimsical silliness. Trunchbull is the adversary Matilda deserves, our little hero has to overcome a real threat, a real monstrous power and Dahl describes her perfectly in the book saying “She’s a merciless and imposing character”.

Thompson’s physical transformation into the over-sized bully with a penchant for cruel and scary punishments was certain striking. Prosthetics were used to create the menacing presence alongside her costume which includes a belt of frightful tools, there is an air of desperation around her. Her singing is also impressive with Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics beautifully match Dahl’s tone. ” The Smell of Rebellion” and “The Hammer” are my favourite musical numbers in the production and Thompson delivers each note with Trunchbull’s psychotic madness.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

Musical Masterpiece

Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics were a treat throughout, his work is completely genius as every character’s song have their own personalities and there is not one lyric, note or inflection that doesn’t match what the character is feeling at every given moment. The lyrics speak for themselves as every song embuded with energy has a different style, cadence, tone and tempo. The dialogue truly blends seamlessly with the start of each song. Every song complements the text, the characters and the world of Matilda. Minchin an incredibly gifted composer and lyrist actually tried to get the rights to Matilda back in 2000 speaking of Roald Dahl and Matilda Minchin says that “Matilda is everything I want in a hero: resilient, brilliant, morally-driven, and a total book nerd! She stands up to bullies on behalf of those she loves. And she forgives people who have done her wrong.”

He worked closely on the songs and their placement with both Warchus and writer Dennis Kelly as well as with the “music supervisor, orchestrator, and eventual co-composer Chris Nightingale.” His soutrack embodies hope, empathy, and imagination and each track can make you laugh and cry, especially a new song written for the film “Still Holding My Hand”.

“My House” is another emotional song sung by Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) throughout the song she is also being incredibly vulnerable in front of this young child. At the start of the film, we see all the negativity and trauma and pain coming to the surface. We learn that she is lying to herself and convincing herself that she’s okay, which is very relatable. 

The film also boasts incredible choreography with over 230 children dancing and singing. The children are doing amazing things in this movie and are absolutely incredible, special mentions go too Winter Jarrett-Glasspool, Ashton Robertson, Rei Yamauchi Fulker, and Andrei Shen. “Matilda The Musical” truly brings to the screen a sense of wonder, spectacle, and a stage production that’s leaped onto the screen.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Charlie Hodson-Prior as Bruce Bogtrotter in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” encourages viewers to tell stories and use their minds in fantastical ways, after all that what Dahl’s stories celebrate, the incredible potential of young people and the power of kindness, his fantastical words leap onto the screen as does Quentin Blake’s illustrations. The character of Mrs. Phelps played by Sindhu Vee showcase that Matilda and her are kindred spirits in their love of reading and of stories and the worlds they can inhabit, away from their own, through both. It helps that Matilda is quite a mature child and Mrs. Phelps is quite a child-like adult, Its the perfect match.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

Final Thoughts

Overall Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” is an inspirational musical tale of an extraordinary girl who discovers her superpower and summons the remarkable courage, against all odds,to help others change their stories,while also taking care of her own destiny & Standing up for what’s right!

Netflix will release the film across the world this holiday season. Sony Pictures UK and Tristar Pictures have exclusively released the film now in cinemas in the UK and Ireland.

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Netflix’s Crashing Eid Review: Love, Culture, and Differences



Crashing Eid

If you are curious about other cultures, or maybe want to see how your culture is represented in mainstream media, then you should binge-watch Netflix’s Arabic Comedy series Crashing Eid this weekend. It’s a 4-episode long series with each episode of roughly 47 minutes. The series revolves around culture, love, differences, family, and drama.

The story focuses on Razan (Summer Shesha) as she finds love for the second time in her life but struggles to convince her family for marriage. Razan is shown to be living in the UK with her daughter Lamar (Bateel Qamlo) and finds her British-Pakastani boyfriend Sameer (Hamza Haq) as a suitable match for herself. She proposes to him for marriage before traveling to Saudi Arabia, her home, to celebrate Eid. Her family is convinced that she is back in Saudi for good but Razan has other plans. She tries to tell them about Sameer but constantly fails due to fear and lack of ‘perfect’ timing. She tells Sameer that her parents have agreed to their marriage as she panics to tell him the truth.

Summer Shesha and Bateel Qamlo in Crashing Eid

Summer Shesha as Razan, Bateel Qamlo as Lamar in Crashing Eid

Here comes the twist – Sameer reaches Saudi to surprise Razan and to meet her parents! She tries her best to handle the situation and hide their relationship with the help of her daughter Lamar. At the end of the episode, the truth uncovers itself and everyone is left disappointed. The story follows Razan’s family drama, bitter relations with her mother, previous abusive marriage, her brother Hasan’s (Yasir Alsaggaf) struggle to connect with his son after losing custody, etc. Her previous marriage with her cousin affected her relationship with her own mother as she blames Razan for the failed marriage.

Summer Shesha’s portrayal of a strong woman struggling with every close person in her life but still managing to face everything with bravery is appreciable. Khalid Alharbi deserves applause for his sweet, loving, and understanding role as Razan’s father.

Yasir Alsaggaf, Summer Shesha and Amani Idrees in Crashing Eid

Yasir Alsaggaf, Summer Shesha, and Amani Idrees in Crashing Eid

Despite a fun twist challenge, representation, and Khalid Alharbi’s brilliant performance, a few parts lack perspective. The story doesn’t completely revolve around Razan yet it fails to involve Lamar’s (Bateel Qamlo) emotions in the family drama. She is seen upset at times but it’s never completely addressed. She plays the role of a typical elder daughter helping out her mother in everything and neglecting herself at times. The ending felt rushed as it doesn’t properly elaborate on how Razan’s mother (Amani Idrees) suddenly changed her mind about her daughter. Emotions take time and that’s what felt rushed.

Summer Shesha, Hamza Haq and Khalid Alharbi in Crashing Eid

Summer Shesha, Hamza Haq, and Khalid Alharbi in Crashing Eid

Crashing Eid  offers strong cultural representation, women empowerment, and how love can help you deal with almost everything. It focuses strongly on social taboos surrounding women and Muslim culture.

Crashing Eid is now available to stream on Netflix.

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Netflix’s Bodies Review: Stephen Graham’s Mind-Twisting Series Related To Dark?



Netflix's Bodies

If you are a fan of time travel, crime, and mind-bending suspense then Netflix’s Bodies is perfect to binge-watch this weekend. Directed by Haolu Wang and Marco Kreuzpaintner, Bodies is based on DC’s graphic novel by Si Spencer – who has been tributed in the first episode. The story follows four detectives in four different timelines and they discover a naked man’s body with one eye gouged out, surprisingly it’s the body of the same person in different timelines!

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham in Netflix’s ‘Bodies’

The 8-episode series parallelly shows four detectives – DS Hasan (Amaka Okafor) in 2023, DS Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in 1941, DI Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) in 1890, and DC Maplewood (Shira Haas) in 2053 twisted in the same case discovering facts that are beyond their understanding. DS Hasan from the year 2023 discovers that the case she has been working on has happened before, not once but twice decades ago. Much to her suspicion, the evidence aligns with her own case which leads her confused more than ever.

Stephen Graham is not limited to one timeline, his intense performance deepens the storyline, leaving viewers jumpy. Amaka Okafor, Shira Haas, Kyle Soller, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd’s distinctive acting and effective dialogue delivery are appreciated but Fortune-Lloyd deserves a standing ovation for his shining performance. Graham and Soller’s costumes and makeup are on point in the show.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as DS Whiteman in Bodies

With each episode comes mind-blowing twists that keep you on edge all the time. Each detective’s personal story and connection to people close to them adds more depth to their character and the choices they make. Even till the end of the last episode, the series holds your attention profoundly. Different timelines connected to one another may cause confusion at first but it only adds more fun to the story that leaves us in shock.

Now, if it reminds you of Netflix’s other popular German series Dark, directed by Baran bo Odar, then we can’t blame you. Bodies and Dark are not related to each other but they draw strong parallels to one another and it’s mainly due to different timelines, time travel, and hard-to-understand relations between the two characters. Although characters in Bodies are not connected to each other deep and twisted like in Dark but you need to keep a close eye to understand their connection. Dark, starring German actors Louis Hofmann and Lisa Vicari, is Netflix’s one of the most popular supernatural twists series and it is safe to assume that Bodies is no less than the 3-season German series.

Time portal in 'Dark' vs 'Bodies'

Time Portal in ‘Dark’ vs ‘Bodies’

Stephen Graham’s Bodies is a mind-bending, thriller series full of brilliant performances. Its captivating narrative and depth keep the viewers engaged and entertained.

Bodies is available to stream on Netflix.

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Squid Game: The Challenge | Official Teaser — On Netflix November 22nd, 2023



Squid Game (Netflix)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the reality show being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Genre: Reality

Release Date: 22 November 2023 on Netflix

Based On: Squid Game TV Series

Executive Procucers: Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, Toni Ireland, John Hay, Nicola Hill & Nicola Brown

Production Companies: Studio Lambert & The Garden


What would 456 real people do for 4.56 million dollars?

456 players compete to win $4.56million, the largest cash prize in television history. Through a series of games, each player is pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves how far they’ll go to win.

Catch the trailer online now!

Squid Game: The Challenge Official Teaser (Netflix)

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