Film Review: Cinderella
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★★☆☆☆ After watching films from Disney that have been brilliant because of their twist on the traditional, the most apt example being, of course, Frozen, Cinderella takes a step back. Adhering very much to the old fashioned tale, we see glass slippers, a pumpkin turn into a carriage and a Cinderella who is the epitome of kindness. Granted, I had no desire to see a Cinderella who is part of a gang, kills mice or ends up punching an ugly step-sister. Yet the complete back to basics approach didn’t quite work either. Unlike critics who agree that the adaptation proves right the maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, I’m not so sure. I’ll agree it’s not broken, but it is, arguably, outdated. This was only sorely emphasised by the brilliant Frozen Fever short that we see before the film starts. Not being a fan of the conventional and also being a feminist meant this slipped into predictable, bland and insipid for me. It’s not unpalatable - Cinderella, played by Lily James, is sticking around not because she thinks she can’t make it on her own but because of her attachment to the house itself. Now her parents aren’t there to live it anymore, she will love it for them. I couldn’t help but wonder, though: surely they loved her more than the house? In which case, she ought not put up with being treated so badly by the brilliantly hate-able stepmother, played by Cate Blanchett. There were still some moments of brilliance. Helena Bonham Carter as fairy godmother was noteworthy, and as she pronounced herself “hairy dogfather”, she injected some much-needed humour into the story. Breaking the mould of Bellatrix Lestrange, in which I so resolutely placed her, she was almost the real star of the show. It was unfortunate we didn’t see more of her and her memorable one liners. Just a point to note: she doesn’t work with squash (“too mushy”).
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