"Gretel and Hansel": New Feminist Spin for an Old Tale
While I found the movie’s pacing a little slow, it did a good job in capturing a fairy tale’s dreamlike and horrific quality. It has all the prerequisites—a dark wood filled with mists and mysterious figures. An evil villain. Innocent protagonists who are plunged into a nightmare through no fault of their own. A lesson to be learned.
I liked the movie’s feminist message, which the title alludes to by reversing the names of the main characters. The Gretel here is older and wiser. Through her, the movie drives home its two morals: Be careful what you wish for, and gifts always come with a price. The movie also gives Gretel the agency to make her own choices and sacrifices, and to walk her own path. Not all women have that luxury, even today.
On a minor point—I thought the movie could have made more of a few characters, such as the hunter and the Beautiful Child. Also, I was a little puzzled by how often Hansel was shown with an ax. I thought it would lead somewhere, but it didn’t. Was it merely a reference to the children’s deceased father, who was a woodcutter?
I’ll end on a warning: this is not a movie for young children. There is violence and gore, and one scene depicting cannibalism and body parts.