The Matilda easter egg that foreshadows its ending twist
Did you spot this?
We love a good Easter Egg in a movie – like the deluge of stagey references in tick, tick...Boom! (seriously, Lin, you are frustratingly impressive) or the little nods to Frozen in Encanto. So you'll not be surprised to learn that Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical manages to slip in some excellent little nods and treats for eagle-eyed viewers.
So – a bit of backstory – and warning for spoilers! Matilda's main narrative concerns its titular heroine as she battles the dastardly Miss Trunchbull and finds friends and family to take care of her. A second, concurrent storyline sees Matilda concocting the story of an acrobat and an escapologist, who are desperate for a child but have to complete a stunt at the behest of the acrobat's evil stepsister.
Matilda's tale runs the length of the film, with it being revealed that the circus-dwelling couple eventually do have a daughter – though both perish in the process (the acrobat dying in childbirth, and the escapologist, Magnus, being murdered by the evil sister). It THEN becomes obvious that Matilda's teacher Miss Honey is the very child of the acrobat and escapologist – and that her evil step-aunt is Trunchbull. Layers of fiction are mashed together in a meta-narrative twist!
Accepting that a lot of people going into the film will already know the story, what you'll notice in Matilda (and we've got our US-based colleagues to verify this on their Netflix viewings) is that Miss Honey's identity as the child of the escapologist and the acrobat is actually signposted from the beginning.
Throughout the movie the tyrannised and heart-of-gold teacher, who is played with perfect poise by Lashana Lynch, wears a necklace sporting a single feather – which directly matches the same elaborate feathers worn by her parents on their circus costumes. The family are all part of the same flock.
Extra kudos, therefore, to costume designer Rob Howell, who, as it turns out, also worked on the original stage production. Have you spotted any other easter eggs in the film? Let us know!
Matilda is currently on Netflix across the world, except the UK and Ireland, where it remains in cinemas.