Cinderella grows from a classic Disney animation into a sophisticated movie

The 2015 Cinderella introduces a refreshing twenty-first century variation of the classic fairy tale


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Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh brought in $67 million on its opening weekend. It has received high marks even from critics like Rotten Tomatoes.

Although it topped the box office in its opening weekend, “Cinderella” was not a movie I was looking forward to. Its trailer portrayed the movie as a cheesy, sappy love story, without any significant changes that were made from the original Cinderella story. To be concise, it seemed like a very bland movie. But at the request of my mother, I gave in and found the movie to be much more in depth and surprising than I had imagined.

“Cinderella”  follows a young girl named Ella and her two loving parents. But due to unfortunate events, they both pass away, leaving her with the advice to “have courage and be kind.” From then on, Ella is left to live her life as a servant to her new stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella. Later, Anastasia and Drizella rename Ella as “Cinderella” after she woke up near the fireplace with cinder on her face. Then, Cinderella coincidentally meets the Prince “Kit” while on a breezy ride in the woods. But he initially introduces himself as an apprentice working at the Palace. They become interested in each other and promise to see each other again.

I thought “Cinderella” had a nice touch of the modern world because the dialogue included slang but it still maintained the original feeling of the Disney production. There was a lot less singing, and it was clear to me that it was a movie, rather than a musical. For example, the mice didn’t sing once, and hardly ever spoke.

The actress playing Cinderella, Lily James, fit the role best both in appearance and in acting. I naturally felt sympathetic towards her. Tears especially gathered in my eyes when Ella started crying saying, “I’m sorry Mother, I don’t have courage anymore!” after her stepsisters tore her ball gown apart. On the other hand, Richard Madden, actor playing Prince Charming, was only average. I thought he could’ve had more emotion in some scenes, such as when his father passed away. The moment where I was supposed to feel most drawn into the movie, I was able to bring my self out of the scene and think, “Oh, he’s not the best actor.”  The actress I loved the most in the movie was the fairy godmother played by Helena Bonham Carter. Her comedic input had the perfect balance of sassy and sarcastic, which definitely made the movie better. The props were also praisable, the blue gown ball dress Cinderella was my favorite. Overall, I’d give this movie an A-.