MATILDA: THE MUSICAL*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in a hospital, where many parents are gushing over their newborn babies (“Miracle”), with the only exceptions being Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood (Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough). Despite their disbelief over Mrs. Wormwood’s pregnancy, they end up raising their daughter, Matilda (Alisha Weir), and refer to her as a boy.
Matilda is intelligent and enjoys immersing herself in books, as her only friend is local librarian Mrs. Phelps (Sindhu Vee). The Wormwoods are visited by a school inspector named Joe (James Dryden) from Crunchem Hall, and one of the school’s teacher, Miss Jennifer Honey (Lashana Lynch). They express concern over Matilda not having been sent to school since her parents are too careless to do so. Miss Honey speaks to Matilda and lets her know what kind of subjects she will learn. Mr. Wormwood gets annoyed that they are being fined for not giving Matilda a proper education, so he informs her that he called the school’s headmistress, Agatha Trunchbull (Emma Thompson), and he thinks she will sort out Matilda. She responds by sneaking into her parents’ bathroom and putting hair dye in Mr. Wormwood’s tonic so his hair turns green (“Naughty”), making it back to her room before she is discovered.
The next day, Matilda walks to Crunchem Hall and arrives an hour early. She is spotted by Mrs. Phelps and spends time with her, telling her a made-up story about an Escapologist (Carl Spencer) and his wife, an Acrobat (Lauren Alexandra), who were known for performing incredibly dangerous but impressive feats in their circus. Just as Matilda gets to the part where they are set to perform their biggest stunt, the school bell tolls, and Matilda begins her day.
Matilda quickly befriends another new girl, Lavender (Rei Yamauchi Fulker). The older prefect kids show up to warn them about what they are in for (“School Song”). Matilda arrives to Miss Honey’s class and impresses her by solving equations that were written on the board after misinterpreting her request to “polish off” the board.
Miss Honey goes to Trunchbull’s office to tell her that Matilda is an exceptional student, but the cruel headmistress believes all children are “maggots,” boasting about her own accomplishments as a hammer thrower (“The Hammer”) to justify how she chooses to run the school and treat the children.
At home, Mr. Wormwood talks about wanting to sell “luxury” cars to some clients and then tears up Matilda’s library copy of “The Grapes of Wrath” to be a petty jerk after the girl criticizes his business methods. Matilda responds by putting super glue in his hat (“Naughty Reprise”).
At school, Matilda meets other kids, like Eric (Andrei Shen), Nigel (Ashton Robertson), Amanda Thripp (Winter Jarrett-Glasspool), and Bruce Bogtrotter (Charlie Hodson-Prior). They all view Crunchem Hall to be like a prison the way Trunchbull runs it. One of the perfect girls tells them about Chokey, Trunchbull’s shed in the woods that she uses as a punishment (“Chokey Chant”). Nigel comes running out after Trunchbull believes he poured treacle on her chair. Matilda gets the other kids to hide Nigel under their blazers just as Trunchbull orders everyone to line up. Matilda tells Trunchbull that Nigel has narcolepsy and everyone covered him so he would not get sunburned. Trunchbull, looking for an excuse to be rotten, calls out Amanda for her pigtails, and she grabs the girl’s hair to swing her around and throw her a great distance (she’s unharmed, though).
Matilda later continues her story for Mrs. Phelps, making it look as though they are there watching the Escapologist and Acrobat’s performance. She incorporates a character based on Trunchbull, the Acrobat’s nasty stepsister who was a former hammer thrower. When the Acrobat attempted to back down from the big dangerous stunt due to her pregnancy, the Stepsister forced her to go on with it since she made up a contract that the Acrobat signed. Matilda leaves the story off there.
During lunch the next day, Miss Honey tells Matilda that she will bring in a special selection of books for her. Trunchbull comes in and accuses Matilda, or any of the kids, of stealing her private chocolate cake. While everyone remains quiet, Bruce lets out a long, hard belch that produces a chocolate scent, letting Trunchbull know he is the culprit. She then walks over and offers to forgive him, if he can finish a large chocolate cake that the lunch lady made, even though he is very full. The other children encourage him (“Bruce”), and he finishes every last crumb, even the cherries on top. However, Trunchbull still intends to send him to Chokey. Despite Matilda’s protests, Trunchbull has Bruce taken away.
On their way home, the kids sing songs about their dreams as adults (“When I Grow Up”). Matilda goes back to Mrs. Phelps to continue the story, wherein the Acrobat had to do the stunt where she had dynamite strapped to her body and was suspended over a pool of sharks. While the Escapologist tried to save her, she fell and broke every bone in her body. The doctors were able to save her baby, but the strain of childbirth proved too much, and the Acrobat died after asking her husband to look after her daughter. Unfortunately, the wicked Stepsister took over and looked after the girl, treating her cruelly behind the Escapologist’s back.
Matilda goes home and finds out that her father sold his fake luxury cars to some large men with money, saying he removed the mileage from the cars despite them having 100,000 on them. Matilda retreats to her room, where she continues her story by herself, having the Escapologist find out how cruelly his daughter is being treated (“I’m Here”). He attempted to take his daughter away from the Stepsister, but he was never seen again.
When Miss Honey tries to give the children a fun lecture, Trunchbull steps in and forces them to go outdoors even though it is rainy (“The Smell of Rebellion”), making them go through physical education with tough exercises. Matilda then discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses it to put a newt in Trunchbull’s water cup. She blames Eric and begins to pull at his ears to stretch them unnaturally, so Matilda uses her powers again to put the newt down Trunchbull’s shirt, letting it crawl down her trousers (“Quiet”). Matilda then shows Miss Honey her powers by making the cup float.
Miss Honey invites Matilda to her home for tea. She starts to tell the girl her own story about her father, Magnus and how he was an escapologist, and her mother was an acrobat. Miss Honey was raised by her cruel step-aunt – Trunchbull (“My House”). Matilda realizes her story was all about Miss Honey, and it is heavily implied that Trunchbull killed Magnus. Fed up with Trunchbull’s cruelty, Matilda runs home in the rain and uses her powers to destroy the Chokey in the woods.
When Matilda gets home, she finds her parents packing their bags in a panic, as the men that Mr. Wormwood ripped off were part of the Mafia, and although they ordered their money back within 24 hours, Mrs. Wormwood spent it all. They are heading to Spain and are telling Matilda she has to go with them, forcing her to say goodbye to Miss Honey and the friends that she has made. Heartbroken, Matilda leaves a note for Mrs. Phelps saying that not every story has a happy ending.
Trunchbull gathers all the students in a room as payback for the Chokey being destroyed. She then reveals she has built a new, more dangerous-looking Chokey and attempts to use it on Lavender after making her try to spell a made-up word. The other kids begin to rebel and misspell other words so that Trunchbull cannot punish all of them. She then reveals that she has made Chokeys for all of them ahead of time. Matilda then uses her powers to write a message on the chalkboard pretending to be Magnus to scare Trunchbull, which works. Matilda makes Trunchbull’s hair look like pigtails and manifests a humanoid figure out of chains, using it to destroy the other Chokeys and grab Trunchbull by the hair, swinging her around the room like a hammer before launching her out through the roof. After she lands, Miss Honey confronts her evil step-aunt and orders her to leave and never come back. Trunchbull does so and runs away in fear, causing all the children to cheer and celebrate their freedom from the tyrant (“Revolting Children”).
Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood show up to get Matilda to go with them, but Miss Honey offers to adopt Matilda. Her parents agree to it, and she parts on pleasant terms with them after Matilda helps her father get his hat unstuck. Matilda then runs into Miss Honey’s arms.
In the end, Miss Honey takes over the school and has it renamed “The Big Friendly School.” Matilda keeps her friends and still sees Mrs. Phelps, and she now has a happy new life with Miss Honey (“Still Holding My Hand”).
The film is a musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book.
Matilda Wormwood is an intelligent young girl who lives with her rotten parents that were disappointed she wasn't born a boy. She begins to attend school at Crunchem Hall, where she makes friends and gets close with her kindhearted teacher Miss Honey. However, the school is run by the cruel and tyrannical Agatha Trunchbull, who treats children like prisoners and even has her own makeshift cell called Chokey in the woods to use as punishment.
Matilda discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses them to mess with Trunchbull. Throughout the film, she also bonds with local librarian Mrs. Phelps and tells her a story about an Escapologist and Acrobat couple, whose story ended in tragedy when the Acrobat died after a stunt gone wrong, but not before giving birth to their daughter, who is later raised by her cruel step-aunt. The story turns out to be true, as the girl was Miss Honey, raised by Trunchbull after she apparently killed her father.
When Trunchbull attempts to punish all the children with individual Chokeys, Matilda fights back by scaring Trunchbull with her powers and sending her running from the school. Matilda's parents then attempt to flee to Spain after her father rips off some Mafia men, but Miss Honey offers to adopt Matilda, which her parents agree to.
Miss Honey takes over the school and makes it better, while Matilda now has a happy life with her.