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The Falconer

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Thanks for reading The Falconer. We're happy to provide you with award-winning student journalism, free from bias, conflicts of interest, and paywalls. We're able to continue to operate through the generous support of our local community. If you're able, please consider making a donation. Any amount is incredibly helpful and allows us to pursue new and exciting opportunities.

Is the New “Mean Girls” Movie a Pathetic Parody of the Legendary Musical?

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The new “Mean Girls” movie failed to outdo the original musical it was based on.

Finally, after much hype, a remake of the well-known musical based on the legendary movie “Mean Girls” has been released in all theaters. The premiere of this movie took place on Jan. 12, 2024 and very quickly gathered a lot of mixed reviews. It’s not that people weren’t discussing this film on every corner before it came out, since it was surprising that 20 years after the premiere of the original “Mean Girls,” its new remake was coming out. So how can one not discuss it with friends and build theories about what will be shown in the movie? Immediately after the movie was released, the internet exploded and divided into two camps. Some people claimed that it was the worst remake, with even the songs being of poor quality, while others claimed that the former were being dramatic and that the movie was actually quite good. So what is the truth?

The plot of the movie is not something mind-blowing and actually just shows the “ordinary everyday life” of an American school and the complicated life of teenagers, especially girls. This does not come as a surprise since Mean Girls was originally based on a parenting book called “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman, which was created specifically for parents of teenage girls.

It is worth noting that in comparison, the film is still inferior to the musical. The main problem of the new “Mean Girls” movie was the cast, namely, the inability of some actors to sing properly, and this is what essentially ruined the whole pleasure of watching it. Also, it seems that the developers decided that it would be more correct to remove half of the songs that were in the musical, which was also a terrible decision, as it deprived us of the presentation of some of the characters. The musical seems more lively and full, while the movie hardly tries to repeat it or to pick up the same vibe. It looks good, but it’s not a great remake, although if a person is not familiar with the original film or the musical, this movie may seem good to them.

At the beginning of the story, the audience is introduced to an ordinary teenage girl, Cady Heron, who just transferred to an American high school after many years of being homeschooled in Kenya. From there, Cady will plunge into a whirlwind of gossip, intrigue, revenge, and drama. While attending school, she encounters Janice Ian and Damian Leigh, two outcasts who eventually become her friends. However, their friendship is not without drama. Soon after, Cady crosses paths with the Plastics – three popular girls who rule the school. Among them is Regina George, the queen bee and the most talked-about figure in the school. Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith complete the trio, both of whom come with their own quirks and insecurities.

As already mentioned, the superficial plot of the film is not something that is a head-scratcher, as this concept can be found in many places, but if viewers think about it, they can find something in the midst of the envious attitude of the female characters towards each other and constant bullying. It’s crucial to acknowledge that it portrays the common and widespread pressures that adolescent girls face. These pressures often lead to emotional distress and anxiety, which, in turn, push them towards using their pain as a tool to hurt one another. In essence, the movie delves into the concept of mean girls.

The cast of the movie was not bad. In addition to acting, the actors had to be able to sing well, and in the style of musicals. Some of them succeeded, notably the wonderful actress and singer Reneé Rap who played Regina George, because her vocals and performance was on top. But this is not surprising, since Reneè has been playing on Broadway for many years and the main role of Regina George in the musical belonged to her. Of course, at times it might seem that the actress did not fit the vibe of the movie. The actress Avantika Vandanapu, who played Karen Smith, pleased the audience with her excellent performance and such a memorable song. Her performance of the song “Sexy” deserves special attention, as it is on par with the other songs in the movie and the musical. Some changes and wordplay in the song made it even better. The actress who played Gretchen, Bebe Wood, was not bad, but it seemed that the developers did not pay the necessary attention to her and devalued her a lot, which is disappointing because her character in the musical was much deeper. The actress Angourie Rice, who played the main character Cady was probably the most disappointing part of the movie as no matter what songs she sang, they all sounded wrong. Her performance was not as bad as the songs, but it could have been better. Perhaps her main problem was that her performance felt a little bit played out.

The movie is beautifully shot, and most of the shots are pleasing to the eye. The audience is presented with a beautiful picture of an American school and this learning environment, and they can fully immerse themselves in the story. The quality, colors, aesthetics – all of this was on top. One of the things that many viewers didn’t like was the style of the characters’ clothes, especially Regina George. This is quite understandable, as compared to the iconic style of Regina in the movie and the one in the musical, she is “not like herself” in the new movie. It’s a bit frustrating, of course, but given the fact that the setting is in the 2020s, the trends will be different. Although Regina is the type of person who will create trends, not follow them, and here the developers seem to miss.

In the end, the movie “Mean Girls” could not surpass the original and will probably not be as memorable as the originals, but for people who have not seen either of them, it will be quite interesting and perhaps even entertaining.

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Thanks for reading The Falconer. We're happy to provide you with award-winning student journalism since 1963, free from bias, conflicts of interest, and paywalls. We're able to continue with the generous support of our local community. If you're able, please consider making a donation. Any amount is incredibly helpful and allows us to pursue new and exciting opportunities.

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About the Contributor
Jane Khyzhniak
Jane Khyzhniak, Entertainment Editor
Hi! My name is Jane and I’m a freshman here at FHS. It’s my first year working as a staff member in The Falconer and in the journalism field in general. I’m a fashion enthusiast who loves good books, jazz music, and art (especially Renaissance era one). In my free time I like to bake, write poetry, and go to galleries.
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