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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Review – “Mean Girls”

New remake combines movie, musical into one fetch film

In 2004, a fetch new movie came out called “Mean Girls.” This movie quickly became a hit and twenty years later, a new version was released in theaters. The new “Mean Girls” musical combines the elements of the original movie and the Broadway version and was released on Jan. 12 with a run time of exactly two hours. “Mean Girls” has been a hit in the theaters and earned over twenty-eight million dollars on the weekend it was released, although it did receive some mixed reviews from critics. Once I got the chance to see the movie, I understood where both the praises and feedback on the musical come from. There were two different ways to look at the movie going in: how it compares to the original movie and how it compares to the Broadway musical. While I’ve only seen the original and not the Broadway version, I also understand how musicals should be, and I did enjoy the movie even with some of its downfalls compared to the original. 

Image found at stageberry.com

The beginning I thought was very unique and quickly grabbed my attention. Being a musical, the movie starts with the song “A Cautionary Tale,” which introduces us to two pretty important characters, Janis and Damian. Their song starts the musical in a fun way with how it transitions from a garage to the first scene in Africa. After “A Cautionary Tale,” the protagonist, Cady, then introduces herself with “It Roars.” This song takes place in Africa, where she is being homeschooled and living with her mom. I really liked how it started with an upbeat song to introduce the musical and main characters. 

After the audience is introduced to Cady and the reasoning behind why she’s leaving Africa, the frame quickly switches from her old life to her new one. North Shore High School is introduced as the school Cady moves to and its students are described in the song “Where Do You Belong?” I liked this song because it really showed the different students and cliques at the school. I also liked how the musical showed Cady trying to find where she belonged since she went from being homeschooled to going to a big public school. It was nice that they included the struggle she went through with trying to fit in. The only thing I didn’t particularly like about this performance was the lack of dynamic in the vocals. Angourie Rice, who played Cady, sang the vocals well, but there wasn’t enough feeling in her singing like there would be on Broadway. 

After “Where Do You Belong?” Cady builds a friendship with Janis and Damian, and they quickly decide to warn her about the infamous “plastics,” who are the antagonists in the story. “Meet the Plastics” introduces Regina, Gretchen and Karen. I actually really loved this song in the musical. It gave an amazing introduction while also showing the fear that the “plastics” put into everyone at the school. This is where the main plot comes into play. Once “Meet the Plastics” is done, Regina invites Cady to sit with them. I think it was pretty funny how Cady was clueless of who Regina and her friends are. Cady then decides to tell Janis what happened. Having a troubling past with Regina, Janis wants her revenge, so she comes up with a plan that involves Cady befriending Regina while also planning her downfall. I really liked this part of the movie because it’s when everything comes together, although there were some iconic lines from the original that were left out, which was a bit disappointing. 

Image found at imdb.com

Agreeing to plan Regina’s downfall with Janis and Damian, Cady also tries to impress her new crush, Aaron. Eventually Regina finds out and betrays Cady by manipulating Aaron into getting back together with her. The betrayal in this part was really good because it proved how no one—not even her friends—can trust Regina, and that’s when Cady wanted her own revenge. That leads into one of my favorite songs in the musical, “Revenge Party.” I loved the lyrics because they were honestly just really funny. The scenery was really unique in this part because when everyone was singing it sort of turned the school hallway into a party. The one thing that disappointed me was the lack of emotion in the song. In the clips I’ve heard of the Broadway version, Cady’s singing was a lot more emotional and fierce. In the movie, the feeling was not as strong, like Cady almost didn’t even want revenge.

Going along with the original, the iconic talent show scene comes next, and this is when Regina finally loses her power. During a part in the dance, Regina falls on her face and then a video of her goes viral. I like this little spin-off on the original talent show scene because it was more comedic and showed the difference that social media has made on people since the first movie was released. After Regina realized that Cady was behind everything, Regina seeks her own revenge. She frames Cady and the other plastics by dropping the “Burn Book” in the school hallway. This was by far my favorite part because during this scene Regina sings “World Burn,” which had amazing vocals and range. It was definitely a great song, and I loved how it fit in with the scene of everyone finding the Burn Book and reacting to all the insults in it. 

Once the Burn Book is out, the characters have to face lots of responsibilities and after effects, including some of the teachers. If you have seen the original, the ending plot is mostly the same—though I won’t spoil it here if you haven’t. Although some iconic scenes and lines were altered, I still enjoyed the unique happy ending to the movie. 

Overall, I thought the musical was pretty good. Although there were some disappointing parts in the songs and iconic lines being taken out, it was still a pretty good experience. However, I would still say the original movie is better, and even with only hearing clips of the musical on Broadway, I think the music producers could have executed the songs better. Despite this, I still enjoyed this musical revamp. And remember, we wear pink on Wednesdays!

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About the Contributor
Halle Arlt, Freshman writer
Halle is a freshman and in her first year of journalism.  She enjoys taking sports pictures for journalism.  Outside journalism, Halle is involved in cheer and wrestling student manager.
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