Matilda the Musical


Trevor Page, Journalist

Recently, there have been several successful film versions of musicals, such as “In the Heights “and “West Side Story.” The new musical version of “Matilda,” currently airing on Netflix, does not fit in this category.

“Matilda,” based on the 1996 movie and the Broadway adaptation that followed, simply isn’t as entertaining or memorable as the previous versions.

One of Roald Dahl’s most popular novels, “Matilda” tells the story of a young genius named Matilda Wormwood, who develops telekinetic abilities due to the lack of brain exercise at her new school. Matilda uses her abilities to get revenge on the numerous adults who have mistreated her.

Sophomore Jaeden Jones, “I watched the movie several times when I was a kid, but I haven’t seen the musical.”

Starring as Matilda Wormwood is Alisha Weir, along with Andrea Riseborough as Mrs. Wormwood and Stephen Graham as Mr. Wormwood. Maria Rambeau plays Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey.

Netflix’s version of  “Matilda” follows a storyline similar to the book, and the musical arrangement similar to the award-winning Broadway show. However, this movie ends up being only okay when turned into an onscreen musical.

Big musical numbers that might have benefited from being performed in a more exciting way, like “When I Grow Up” and “Quiet,” were slow and underwhelming.

On the plus side, Emma Thompson does an excellent job carrying out the role of Ms. Trunchbull, the evil headmistress of Matilda’s school. She perfectly captures the scary enemy in all her scenes.

Also, the choreography of many in the group numbers is captivating and displays the talent of child actors very well. The songs “Bruce” and “Revolting Children” were very impressive numbers. These scenes very entertaining, and the movie even began to trend on platforms like TikTok and Twitter soon after it was released.

Sophomore Bella Mora said, “I do like the singing and dancing in musicals, so I’ll have to watch it sometime.”

The movie would be entertaining for those who enjoy musical theater, but does not live up to the standards of the novel, movie, or Broadway musical. Compared to the other takes on the story, Netflix’s “Matilda” wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. It seems to be right in the middle and is a fair version to be added to the collection.

Jones stated, “I will have to check out the musical and compare it to the movie I used to watch as a kid to see which I like better.”