Just another Cinderella movie

17 April 2015

Brace yourselves you dreamers who believe in wizards, witches and magical faraway lands that can shelter you from your wretched lives because Director Kenneth Branagh is about to crush all your hopes and dreams.

He does not dispute the existence of magic or fairytale creatures, instead he tries to re-affirm our belief in them but the storyline is so flimsy, so overdone, it has no place in 2015.

Even the 1997 version starring Brandy and Whitney Houston was more inspired than this one, or perhaps I just enjoyed the singing a little too much.

The most recent remake of Cinderella I watched was Ella Enchanted starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy and Minnie Driver, and even that was more creative.

Yes, we know there was going to be a happy ending but it had a few twist and turns that made it entertaining, and dare I say relatable to a certain degree.

Although the movie is set in a mystical land, it addressed issues of freedom of choice, racial profiling and oppression, or was I the only one who got that? No matter.

I had high expectation, having watched Rupert Sanders’ 2012 Snow White and the Huntsman and Catherine Hardwickes’ 2011 Red Riding Hood so perhaps the issue is with me.

These directors took two of the most common fairytales, and brought them to life by refreshing the storylines and coupled them with the best graphics, so you did not feel like you were watching the same old movie.

However, Branagh and his team could have done so many things. For example, they could have introduced some new elements, new characters, which would have altered the storyline a little, and perhaps explored the element of magic further.

Instead of making her a helpless damsel in distress, they could have made Cinderella an independent woman who did not wait for someone to save her, as Sanders did for his Snow White.

However, I must commend the actors for executing their roles very well. Lilly James as Cinderella was enchanting, there was a genuine sweetness and naivety to her, and Cate Blanchet as the evil stepmother was flawless, she never once flinched in her cruelty.

My favourite was Helena Bonham Carter who played the role of the intentionally clumsy fairy godmother. That air of madness she has about her came in quiet handy for this role.

I like to think that fairytales are living entities that can grow and change to suit the times in which they are being produced.

Perhaps, if I were much younger I would still have enjoyed the movie as it is, but the years and their experiences have begun to show on my face, and I have learnt too many hard lessons to give into that kind of naive outlook on life.
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