Cinderella: Film Review

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I had hoped by taking an old Disney tale and revamping it for the modern day, Cinderella would be updated and have a modern feel.  It turned out to be the opposite – this was far too old-fashioned, traditional and literally a copy of the 1950 Disney animation so it didn’t feel fresh or exciting.

I’m sure we all know the story – Cinderella (Lily James) is forced to live with her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and ugly stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera) when her father dies. She is treated as a slave with only mice for friends. She is banned from going to the ball held by the Prince (Richard Madden) until she is transformed by her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), whose spell runs out at midnight.

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I didn’t hold much hope for this and the film confirmed what I had expected from the trailer – it is style over substance. The film looks amazing. The costumes are stunning and the sets, the hair, make-up and landscapes (mostly CGI I think) all look incredible. But there is nothing to it. I have seen the animated film many times, I know Cinderella inside out, so it should have been different. What’s the point in remaking it if you are going to make it exactly the same (but in live action)? It doesn’t add anything. It’s the same two dimensional characters and old-fashioned concepts.

The film would have been more acceptable if it was modernised and the characters had been given a new lease of life. Cinderella is not significantly more outspoken and tough this time around and Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella in Into the Woods was more feisty and enjoyable. James was sweet and likeable and Madden, I assume, was employed for his looks. Bonham Carter looks bizarre as the Godmother – she didn’t even look real, especially the teeth! I liked Cate, she was fabulously evil and the stepsisters were probably my favourite. They were funny and they brought the most natural humour.

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It didn’t help this script was cheesy and stale. There was no life to it. Nothing seemed to flow. I had a smile on my face throughout because it is nice enough and it pleases the eye but there is nothing to encourage me to choose this over the animated one. There were no contemporary messages and it doesn’t really cater to adults. The key scenes I genuinely enjoyed were the carriage transformations (to and from the ball) and the grand ball itself. It also liked when the mice or the evil stepsisters were involved but it did not wow or excite me, and I can’t imagine it doing the same for children.

As you can tell, I was not a fan. I felt all the efforts were put into making it look magical, rather making the story magical. It needed to be modernised. This version is a pleasant enough way to spend a cinema trip but you would be more engaged elsewhere.

Released Friday 

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  1. […] It was amazing! I enjoyed it more than the movie. While I didn’t like the new adaptation (read my review), I couldn’t deny how gorgeous it looked so it was great to see everything up […]

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