“Matilda the Musical” is light-hearted and lovely in its portrayal of the classic story

Roald Dahl’s beloved story gets revamped with some catchy tunes


Creative Commons (Manuel Harlan)

Scenes from “Matilda” from the Broadway run

Maggie Blackburn, Arts & Culture Editor

By now, we all know the story of the young girl whose parents resented her, who was too smart for her age, and had magical powers: “Matilda.” The novel originally written by Roald Dahl, which was since been turned into a film directed by Danny DeVito, followed by a Broadway musical, has now evolved into a movie musical, mostly based on the stage adaptation. 

The movie musical “Matilda the Musical,” starring Alisha Weir as Matilda, possesses elements of the original novel, but puts a twist on it. Weir is currently only 13 years old, and this was her first lead role in a film, yet she perfectly brought Matilda to life, in a way that the audience couldn’t help but love her. Not only was Weir’s acting amazing, especially for a newcomer, but her dancing and singing skills were also off the charts. Her singing is featured in a lot of the soundtrack, and I was excited to hear the song every time she started singing. 

Alongside Weir, the movie musical also features some familiar faces, most notably Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull. Thompson took the character of Miss Trunchbull to another level, through both her acting and her singing. She made the character feel human, but in a way that made any watcher hate her. Another thing to note was the makeup in the production, specifically Thompson’s. Her transformation into Miss Trunchbull is truly amazing, and she looks like a different person. 

Other members of the cast to be mentioned are Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, and Stephan Graham and Andrea Riseborough as Matilda’s parents, who all were perfect matches to their character. Lynch makes Miss Honey all the more joy-filled, passionate and ultimately lovable, while Graham and Riseborough presented Matilda’s parents in a way that made you hate them more than you thought you already could. 

The two most notable things about “Matilda the Musical” are the casting and the music. The cast was perfectly curated, and honestly, I don’t think any other actors could have portrayed these roles any better. Each and every one of the actors in the film brought something to the table, and added depth to their characters. I don’t even know where to start on the music. The voices of all of the characters flawlessly matched exactly what you would want them to sound like. Exceptionally, Weir and Lynch’s musical depiction of their characters made them all the more endearing, and truly lovable characters. On the other hand, Thompson’s more rough approach at her singing more heavily villainized Miss Trunchbull as it gave no soft side to her, not even her singing. 

English teacher — and parent — Mrs. Sherman noted how memorable and catchy the music throughout “Matilda” is.

“It’s definitely earworm material,” she said. “My six year old loves it, and I think it’s a really engaging and imaginative portrayal of the original work. The musical format makes it light and enjoyable for all ages.”

I could not recommend this movie enough, especially to fans of either the book, film or stage adaptation version of “Matilda.” I would even go as far as saying that I liked this version better than the original film, which is saying a lot because that’s a classic. There is not much I would change about “Matilda the Musical,” and would definitely watch it again.