The only light in the room is the shine of the treadmill’s screen, a soft blue that illuminates an unfriendly yet alluring face. This is Regina George, (former) queen bee of North Shore High School. Her mother stands behind her and questions her decision to eat a “Kalteen” bar, a protein bar that contributes to weight gain. At that moment, it all clicks for Regina. The bars her “friend” Cady gave her are NOT for weight loss, they are what is making her gain weight. Moments of betrayal flash behind her eyes, and she screams. The camera stays on her face for the sharp, ear-ringing scream that lingers in your ears, and the shot ends.
“It’s not your mother’s “Mean Girls.” This is the bold statement in the trailer of “Mean Girls,” the new adaption of the hit Broadway musical based on the cult classic film. This is a pretty accurate statement, considering the highly stylized and sometimes deeply tense nature of the film. And the hit music of course.
Many viewers are upset by the very nature of the film, a musical. This reaction is due to the fact that while the film is described as a musical, it was not advertised as one. The trailers of the film were scored to different pop songs, never including anything from the original soundtrack. Viewers who were expecting a remake were confused to find a full fledged musical adaption, and viewers who don’t particularly enjoy musicals felt blindsided and annoyed.
Despite all of this drama, the film itself turned out to be a stunning adaptation of the broadway edition, taking so many creative liberties that it barely resembles the original. The song sequences are amazingly shot and deeply atmospheric, and the vocals are stunning. Of course, lead actress Renee Rapp (Regina George) stole the show with her glamorous yet terrifying portrayal of the iconic villain. While her character does terrible things and terrifies you on screen, you still can’t get enough of her. Anti Hero Janis (played by Auli’i Cravalho) also is a highlight in the cast, giving a stellar performance with amazing vocals and genuinely relatable character development. Newcomer Bebe Wood gives a heart wrenching take on the secret keeping, secretly miserable best friend Gretchen Wieners. Many of the other cast members also work together to create an amazing ensemble.
The striking thing about “Mean Girls” is the portrayal of bullying and cyberbullying. Compared to the silly antics of the original, this version of “Mean Girls” feels like it portrays vicious bullying and the repercussions of it. In one shot, Regina falls on stage and all we can see is her shocked face as camera flashes turn on to record her. It is an invasive and upsetting shot, and even has you feeling sorry for the film’s villain.
Although some do not like the musical take on the film, “Mean Girls” turned out to be a big success. The actors dazzled theater goers, and the vibe of the movie created an instant cult classic. Viewers will be shocked by the standout scenes, “World Burn” and “Someone Gets Hurt,” and will be dancing with the music in songs like “Revenge Party” and “Sexy.” The only proper words to describe this film can be found inside of it. It was “SO fetch!!”