Movie Review: Cinderella (2015)
I was a bit apprehensive when I heard that Disney had plans to make a Cinderella movie using real, live actors. After all, the original Cinderella is a classic and why mess with a classic? And why use real-life actors?
Still, I was intrigued and curious. And since it is the school holidays, I decided we’d go.
I thought it being the school holidays that the place would be packed. I called and made reservations an hour before the movie started and hoped we would get good seats. As it turned out, most people probably watched it when it first came out a couple of weeks before and the theatre was not busy at all. We even got to sit anywhere we liked!
The pre-movie entertainment was a seven-minute short film Frozen Fever featuring Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf. It’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and the others are busy arranging a surprise party. Elsa is not feeling 100% but, by George, she’s going to throw Anna a party – complete with singing and dancing – even if every sneeze droplet transforms into a miniature snowman. The short was entertaining enough featuring already-familiar characters in a new situation with new songs and it fulfilled its intention of preparing the audience for what they really came for.
Who doesn’t know the story of Cinderella? Tale as old as time, true as it can be….No, wait, that’s Beauty and the Beast, which, incidentally, Disney also has plans to remake using real live actors, with Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) playing the title roles. Mmmm, yes please! Anyway, I digress.
Where were we? Oh, right. Cinderella.
Everyone in the developed world above the age of five and who hasn’t lived a cloistered life should be familiar with the story of Cinderella (various versions, even!) so I won’t bore you by retelling the story here. Suffice to say, all the key characters are there: Cinderella, Prince (not called Charming), the stepmother, the two stepsisters, the fairy godmother, the animal friends, the pumpkin, the glass slipper etc.
This Cinderella does a wonderful job of showing us Ella when she was young, her relationship with her parents, and her affinity with animals. Her mother does not pooh-pooh Ella’s ability to understand animal talk and encourages her to believe in things magical such as fairy godmothers. At her deathbed, she reminds Ella of the secret that will help one see through life’s trials: Have courage and be kind. This becomes Ella’s life motto and it does indeed see her through many, many trying situations.
Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy watching Lily James (Rose in Downton) and Sophie McShera (Daisy) play Cinderella and Drisella respectively. Cate Blanchett as the stepmother is deliciously cruel; a bit overdone, but hey, it’s a fairy tale.
Very enjoyable. Beautiful remake. Is it a must-see at the cinema? Not really. Watch it at the discount cinema (we did), or wait for it to come out on DVD.