Matilda Movie Review


Matilda                                                                 Directed by: Danny DeVito


Celeiah Chilcott-Ngoudjo                                       Genre: Family/comedy 


Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy co-produced and directed by Danny DeVito. This film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel that goes by the same name. The film tells a story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl punishing the crude people in her life, such as her parents(Danny DeVito) (Rhea Pearlman) and her terrifying strict principal, Ms.Trunchbull (Pam Ferris). When Matilda realizes she has the power of telekinesis, she begins to defend her friends from Trunchbull’s hot temper and fight back against her ruthless parents. 


This is an utterly charming film almost entirely due to Mara Wilson’s performance as the eponymous Matilda. With the exception of the teacher, all of the other characters are delightfully horrible; her parents didn’t care about her attempts to learn and obtain education. As one would expect from a story written by Roald Dahl it is dark without being too scary and slightly unruly.


 I’m sure it will appeal to all but the most timid of children. The acting is great, young Mara Wilson is perfect as Matilda, Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman did a great job as her uncaring parents and Pam Ferris was suitably grotesque as the vile Miss Trunchbull. The added scenes like in Magnus’s house was a nice touch and it created a beautiful scenery because of the lovely flora around the house. I also loved how dark Devito made it, mixing a bit of humour too. The music that was added almost made an impact on the film giving it an eerie affect or even an ominous one. 


The best parts are when Matilda exacts her revenge on some of the less savory of the story. For instance when Matilda superglued her father’s hat and his wife needed to help him rip it off, leaving him hairless. To give another example, when Trunchbull is scared of what she thinks is the ghost of Magnus, her brother in law (who Miss Honey thinks Trunchbull murdered). The “ghost” is calling her by her first name, when in reality it was Matilda’s display of supernatural telekinesis. 


Adults on the whole take a beating in “Matilda.” Their stereotypical depiction places them at either end of the extreme. If the obnoxious Wormwoods and Ms. Trunchbull represent hideous extroverts, then Miss Honey epitomizes the humble introvert. Clearly, “Matilda” endorses the latter behavior. The only good adults are the docile adults. Mara Wilson steals the show as the eponymous protagonist. I would recommend this movie to everyone of all ages and it is mostly family friendly, great for quality time. I would rate this movie 8 stars out of 10.