Movies Reviews

An updated ‘Mean Girls’ worth the watch

From the 'Mean Girls' official Facebook page.

Sharon, Massachusetts, U.S.A. – The limit does not exist when it comes to Tina Fey’s creativity in writing the new musical Mean Girls.

Adapted from the 2004 version of Mean Girls and the Broadway musical, Fey incorporates old ideas from both and adds a series of twists and turns, creating an exhilarating musical directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.

The story unfolds with Cady (Angourie Rice) moving from Africa to the United States to attend North-Shore High School, not understanding the ups and downs of girl world that she was about to enter.

As a shy, introverted, home-schooled student, she meets all kinds of students: jocks, alphas and betas, nerds, and of course, the Plastics: Regina (Reneé Rapp), Gretchen (Bebe Wood), and Karen (Avantika Vandanapu).

Encouraged by two art geeks, the plot thickens as Cady befriends Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), who convince Cady to get close to the Plastics so she can mess with Regina.

As the queen bee of the school, Regina finds interest in Cady and Cady quickly becomes an addition to the group.

Just like any fabulous modern musical, the cinematography was on point. The general composition of each scene had jaw-dropping energy and passion, especially Avantika’s Halloween scene which hyped the entire theater. 

As a musical, the songs I found captivating were “World Burn” and “Someone Gets Hurt.”  Rapp is an amazing performer. As Regina, she displayed the perfect blend of confidence, making her character more than just a typical mean girl stereotype. 

The film seamlessly integrated modern teen culture such as social media. It was personally exciting because as a teenager, it was relatable. If the characters acted the way they did in the 2004 movie, it would be less connected to today’s culture.

While Rice impressively embodies Cady’s character, her singing is weaker. At times, her voice sounds a bit strained and the inconsistency in her singing becomes more apparent during some of the film’s key musical numbers, like “Revenge Party,” where the energy of the scene is somewhat dampened. 

Much of the plot development was dismissed with songs that, although entertaining, didn’t actually further the storyline.

The film doesn’t shy away from addressing issues like friendship, betrayal, and societal expectations, adding a more thoughtful layer beneath the surface of a seemingly glamorous high school world.

So for all the musical’s humor, dancing and singing, it is with absolute confidence that I will say that as entertaining as the musical was, I will always find the original to be so much more fetch – as Gretchen would say.

Shiara Naveen is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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