From the time the film flickers onto the screen, the story is more than recognizable and the audience assumes they know the story, but they are mistaken. Everyone and their dog has heard the story of Cinderella so many times, we need to check for bleeding ears, for the versions have been so varied. It may be difficult distinguishing the real story from the newly invented ones. Thank goodness that is over and this new rendition puts all the questions to rest, once and for all.
The latest version of Cinderella, played wonderfully by Lily James and based on the fairytale of Charles Perrault in 1697, in the romantic language of France, brings about another facet of the loved fairytale originally entitled Cendrillon or The Little Glass Slipper. Rumor has it that the glass slipper (pantoufle de verre) was a misprint of the weasel-fur slipper (pantoufle de vair), although there are some that believe Perrault and his vivid imagination could have very well have meant to encase the delicate foot of our fair heroine in glass. Although this is Lily's first experience in glass slippers, it isn’t the first experience she has had in a royal hall setting. She is known as Lady Rose Aldridge in Downtown Abbey.
This 2015 version of Cinderella invites adults down memory lane while teasing the children to come alone, taking them on a journey they can share—if only for an hour or so. Still, this is a journey well-deserved and deservingly granted us by Kenneth Branagh’s version of Cinderella which nicely joins the marriage of a favorite fairytale with modernized conceptual thinking.
Richard Madden, as Kit, better known as Prince Charming, plays his role divinely. A bit of a leap from his character, Robb Stark, in HBO’s Game of Thrones, where he plays a non-fairytale character dealing with real-life situations.
This time the tale encouraged the audience’s involvement by rewinding back to Ella’s birth and showing how much her parents cared about her before she became a slave to her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Have no fear, there’s always some selfish person willing to muddle up for the sake of herself, and this instance proved no variation. In fact her wicked stepmother, played with a marvelous twist by versatile Cate Blanchet, brought along Drisella and Anastasia to weigh her down with their own stupidity. Not to mention the girls’ clothing that screamed so loud it would make a person turn blind.
The Fairy Godmother introduced herself to beaten down Cinderella as her “hairy dog father.” This statement gathered laughter from the audience as the beggar pled for sustenance. After receiving a bowl of milk from Cinderella, the role typically played by a worn out old hag danced across the screen as a busty and quite attractive Helena Bonham Carter.
The acting in this film was good, but the computer-generated magic was incredible (especially if the children are fond of animals) and the scenery was nothing shy of breathtaking. If parents are looking for entertainment for their children, this is good wholesome and giggling fun that had the audience clapping aloud at the end. There aren’t even any clever adult level jokes the kids can ask about later, after giving the thought a turn or two. This doesn’t mean teens and adults won’t like this tale though, quite the contrary. The characters are recognizable for the children and the actors are just as intriguing for the adults.
The scenery was to die for, so vivid the blossoms could be smelled, the brisk night air gave chills, and at the ball the way the couple’s outfits took turns upstaging one another was intriguing. Even Cinderella’s glass slippers were more beautiful than could be imagined without seeing them glisten like a prism in the light.
As there are generally hidden messages for the kids to give thought to, this movie doesn’t supply that. Several messages are delivered with distinction from “Just because it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean it’s the right way,” to “Be seen as you truly are, and have the courage to be kind—all will be well.”
The creators of the newly released Cinderella, ended up doing more than simply spreading a positive message about females taking charge, they ended up earning $68 million dollars at the theaters in the first weekend.
While the story depicts females being taken advantage of and then lashing out to get what they deserve, our country needs to realize that not only is that how things used to be, but quite often it’s how things still are. While there is an upheaval of people badmouthing the movie and it’s efforts to move feminism ahead, so many people are upset about the way the story starts. Well, that’s Cinderella.