Plot: There aren’t many who do not know the story of Cinderella. But this tells a tale of a girl whose only wish is to have courage and be kind to honour the promise she made her dying mother. Easier said than done when her cruel step-mother and step-sisters use her as nothing more than a servant.
A chance meeting in the woods makes Ella long for one more thing – a chance to see her new friend again, unaware he is the prince. The one night she is granted for this wish to come true will change her life forever.
Quote: `When there is kindness, there is goodness. When there is goodness, there is magic.`
Opinion: I had heard conflicting things about this film. I was therefore unsure of how good it was going to be. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the plot follows the original Cinderella plot, the setting – fantasy and out of time – and the dialogue work to create a film that is charming and humorous in its own way. It is certainly no break-through film that leaves you stunned. It did make me laugh out loud so therefore I cannot fault it too much.
The setting adds an element of charm to the film. It has modern day mannerisms and words, yet it is clearly set in the past. It is the type of setting that allows the film-makers to get away with pretty much anything they want. And so they do… With a random few lines from Rob Brydon that undermines all attempts at seriousness and sets the tone of the film.
The casting was strong. Lily James was possibly the least known out of the cast unless you are a Downtown Abbey fan. A scattering of familiar faces are found throughout and it adds to the charm. I couldn’t help but wonder just how much fun the cast had while filming due to the amount of talent being present.
There cannot be a Cinderella without commenting on the costumes. Cinderella’s ball-gown was beautiful, as were the glass slippers. The fairy godmother too looked truly magical in her dress – fit for a fairy for sure. But the costumes for the `ugly sisters` worked well too – they were nothing short of fun rather than any true attempt at elegance.
What didn’t work quite so well were some of the animals. The mice were small enough you could ignore how they looked for the most part. But for a well-done film, a scene in the forest with a stag looked so unbelievable that it jolted away from the magic of the film. The interaction was jerky and you couldn’t suspend disbelief for those moments.
Cinderella is the type that once you have seen it, you wouldn’t go rushing back to watch it again. However, it remained charming and light-hearted, humorous and fun in all the right places. Several moments made me smile and more than one made me laugh out loud. A film that does that ticks the right boxes.