Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cinderella Review



I didn't go to see Disney's live action Cinderella when it was in the theaters.  The girls were mildly interested in seeing it, but all of the reviews we read made it out to be a very traditional retelling of the fairy tale. That sounded boring to me.

Now, after watching the movie on Instant View, I'm wondering if those original reviewers had even seen the film.

There are the expected elements - the prince, the ball, the pumpkin carriage.  And, there are a number of nods to Disney's animated classic - a cat named Lucifer, a mouse named Gus-gus, and a good deal of "bippity-boppity-boo" type magic, and even a little bit of singing (though it is, thankfully, not a musical)

But, there is also an added depth to the characters, fodder for good discussions about arranged marriages... 

King: I know you love the people, Kit. But I also know that your head’s been turned. You’ve only met her once, in the forest. Prince: And you’d have me marry someone I've only met once tonight.

 ...second marriages, and the difficulties of international and inter-familial relationships, with Buddhist underpinnings (to live is to suffer, but we must continue on with kindness and courage), all set against a very lovely rococo inspired background (the homeschool mom in me really loved that!)


In fact, we've been sifting through Google images of Watteau...

"The View"
...and Fragonard all day today...
"The Swing"
...to match up against images from the movie (my younger girls love that the scene below takes place in a "secret garden", too).


All of us enjoyed the acting, cinematography, tone, music, and special effects of the movie.  This came as a big surprise to me, because as I mentioned, I really expected to be bored by the tired old, already done story.  Instead, I found myself wrapped up in a fresh, fun, and lively retelling.

What I absolutely love most about this version of the story though, is that we finally get some insight into the wicked step-mother.


Married for love, then widowed, she marries again for the sake of her daughters.  Unfortunately she finds the man she married is still very much in love with his late wife.  After over-hearing that he finds her and her daughters "trying", she is left alone, widowed again, with his beautiful, sweet, innocent daughter (who, he just happened to mention, takes after her mother), in a house filled with memories of her rival.  That's enough to make pretty much anyone a bit bitter, if not cruel - and she is still cruel, if in a slightly more sympathetic way.

All in all, I'd have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the entire twinkly, flirtatious, infatuation-filled, but modernly grounded flight into fairy tales and fancy.

9 comments:

Ticia said...

I enjoyed it too as a fun bit of fluff. I took Princess to see it as a special treat of just us.

I found Lady Tremaine and her daughter's clothes slightly off-putting because it didn't fit the theme of the rest of the movie. Her clothes were right for the 40's but everyone else had clothes appropriate for the era shown. But, I guess it also made for a good contrast of her versus the rest of the people.

Sue Elvis said...

We enjoyed Cinderella very much. We loved the message of kindness. Kindness really does change the world. Remaining kind despite everything.. this has given us a lot to talk about!

Dawn Rebekah said...

I just saw that RedBox had it last night at the grocery store, but they were all out. I am going to track it down now. My daughter will love it. What a great review.
Blessings, Dawn

Camie Madsen said...

I love nearly every version of Cinderella and this beautiful retelling has almost topped my list. It will be added to our home movie library for sure.

Kylie said...

Yes I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Cinderella also. Even though I really thought I wouldn't.

Anya said...

thanks for the review, I want to see it now (was very much "pass" when it first came out), will track down a dvd soon

Angelic Scalliwags said...

We bought this for the little ones to watch whilst we were rehearsing for Shakespeare. They enjoyed it but our older girls really LOVED it.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

You made me want to see the movie. I don't see my husband resist much, he also loves good old fairy tale. Daughter, on the other hand, is not interested in the least.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I loved this movie. The kids and I watched it while Mike was out of town. Now we need him to find time to watch it with us before he leaves again.