I Watched: Matilda

Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The movie adaptation from 1996. All about an extraordinary girl who is naturally miles ahead of anyone else in terms of brain power. The girl has intelligence which combines with anger to provide telekinetic abilities that she uses to change everything.

It really is just a tale about horrible people getting what they deserve. Matilda’s parents have no respect for her or her intelligence; the headteacher hates children and bullies them physically, even going as far as using an iron maiden torture device called the Chokey; the police are even shown to be untrustworthy as they try to get evidence without following procedures.

Matilda’s intelligence means she can learn from her father. He says “When a person is bad, that person deserves to be punished.”, he means child but says person. Matilda takes his meaning and punishes those who wrong her. This one line is a catalyst that sparks her revolution.

Revolution against Trunchbull, the evil headmistress who Matilda decides to punish while aiding the only adult that shows any care for children, Miss Honey. It starts small with shouting support at a fat kid eating cake but becomes a mission off terrorising Trunchbull with fear of the dead until she is fully driven out.

As for the logic of where Matilda’s powers come from, there’s a line early on from the narrator “It is said that we humans use only a tiny portion of our brains.” This suggests that Matilda can use more of her brain than normal which explains the intelligence and telekinesis. It’s also a similar explanation to the one from the film ‘Lucy’. I find that depth of logic interesting from a possibility perspective. Anger or stress seems to be the key to actually using the power for Matilda though.

Trunchbull and Matilda’s father are so well done in their horribleness. They are disgusting in who they are which really shows the talent of acting, makeup and character writing/design. The other characters are done well too but that particular pair stand out.

It’s a powerful movie that’s good for kids. It tells them to stand up for themselves and for what’s right. Matilda is a hero to the children in the film and an inspiration for real life. It’s so joyful while also being a little dark, but the sweet little girl pulls through and wins while always trying to be positive. There’s even a happy ending. It’s a nice, feel good family movie.

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