The Gaucho Gazette

Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Wasted Potential

Emma Hughes, Reporter

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Although the 2018 film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” differentiates from the well-known ballet, the basic plot is the same except for a staggering twist … a mediocre one at best. A modern rendition of The Nutcracker is a brilliant idea, but when put to film, it missed the mark.  Following Clara’s adventure through the realms, the movie is nothing but wasted potential.

Clara, at the beginning of the film, is an outcast, making her a relatable character, but with the lack of personality, her character is simply basic. She learns more about her mother and the magical land she used to visit, the four realms. However, only one of the realms holds relevance within the movie and the story behind it is lost. The other realms are briefly showcased through dance, in an attempt to incorporate ballet into the movie.

The so-called “challenges” Clara faces along her escapade aren’t challenges at all, but instead they are minor inconveniences that the characters exaggerate to appear important: The powerful, frightening Mouse King; a fickle cluster of rats who are actually Clara’s allies, the elegant magical Sugarplum Fairy; a troubled character who is supposed to be the enemy, and the Nutcracker; an emotionless guard. The emotional bonds the characters form seem forced and tenuous, weakening the story. While themes of betrayal, friendship, family, strength, and love are in play, they are underdeveloped, leading the movie to a lackluster, disappointing ending.

Even though the storyline is unsatisfactory, the special effects are spectacular, producing one reason to see this movie. Incorporating some of the magic and charm from the original ballet, the effects were definitely the shining component from the movie. However, even with the effects, the movie cannot fulfill the shoes of the ballet and only tarnishes it. With essentially no story, no character build-up, and no real purpose, this film wasted an opportunity at creating an extraordinary cinematic experience.

The Nutcracker as a ballet holds elegance, determination, and beauty, that was cast away and forgotten when turned into a movie. The entire storyline was incoherent and the plot was scattered with useless, unnecessary information. The Nutcracker clearly should have been left as the exquisite ballet, rather than be distorted into a disastrous movie.

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Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Wasted Potential