I've been meaning to review this movie for months, but have always hesitated on the grounds that I don't know how to write a review. Also there have been so many good reviews of this movie already that I'm really not sure what to add, and I'm afraid I'll bore you with yet another opinion on it. However, I have decided to take the plunge. Having now seen this film a total of four times--three of those times being within the past week--I'm thinking I'd better review it now or never.
When I first heard about this movie I was told that it was to be a live-action remake of the original Disney cartoon, so when I first saw it I very naturally began to compare the two movies, noting the differences which the filmmakers chose to make in this newest adaption. My review therefore, will probably include some comparisons. Not because I necessarily consider one film to be better than the other, but simply because noting the differences between the two versions is what comes most easily for me. I won't bother with a detailed synopsis of the story because I'm sure most people already have a general idea of it how it goes. In brief, it's about a very good girl who loses her parents, becomes enslaved to her evil stepmother, is sent to the ball by the magic maneuverings of her fairy godmother, meets and dances with the prince, loses her shoe in a mad dash to get home before the spell breaks at midnight, and then, of course, marries the prince in the end 'cause that's the way of all good fairy tales.
In this particular version we get to see Cinderella (or Ella, rather) as a young girl, growing up happily with her adoring parents.
I enjoyed that aspect of the film as it gave a greater realness to the characters, and a greater sense of what Ella has lost once her parents are no longer living. (If you like emotional, tear-filled scenes, you're going to have a jolly good time with this movie.)
Ella's relationship with her father was very sweet, I thought, both as a child and as a young woman.
Obviously it was hard for her to see her father remarry, but she was very supportive and encouraging. I really like the scene of them together in the study where he reassures her that he still misses her mother. I know I would want to have such an assurance if I were Ella.
Speaking of relationships--sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to be jumping all over the place in this review--I also really liked the Prince's relationship with his father.
In the cartoon the prince doesn't have much of a personality, so it was very nice to see him talking and joking with his father. (And crying, too, of course...because emotional, tear-filled scenes are the thing in this movie.)
Okay, sorry, I think I just got ahead of myself. We're not supposed to be talking about the prince yet. (Bear with me, please. I've never written a review before. )
Going back to Ella...
So her father remarries, as everyone knows he will because that's the only way to get Ella a stepmother. And I assure you, her stepmother and stepsisters are every bit as cruel...and ridiculous...as they are in the cartoon movie.
Anastasia to Cinderella: "You have lovely hair."
Drizella to Cinderella: "You should have it styled."'
With stepsisters like these, one might assume that things couldn't get much worse for Ella, but...*ahem*...they can. Oh yes! Ella's father dies and her stepmother shows her true colors. She's evil, cruel, and mean...
...Not only that! She's not even nice! (And she has the most obnoxious laugh ever!)
Ella becomes nothing more than a servant girl.
I apologize again. I'm moving much too slow on this thing and I'm using far too many pictures. Let's switch gears. I'll just list for you some of the things that stood out to me. The things I liked, disliked, or just had a random thought about. [Warning: This is going to become a very rambling post.] Here goes.
~I like how Ella meets the prince before the ball, because such a circumstance gives a lot more credibility to their romance in the end. And plus that scene was highly entertaining. "It's Kit! Kit! Kit! I'm Kit." Alright, your Highness, we get the idea. You want to be called Kit. :)
~I liked the fairy godmother...much better than I thought I would. In fact, I had been perfectly certain I would not like her because she did not fit my mental image of the fairy godmother...at all. However, in the end I have to admit she was quite funny and I enjoyed her character very much.
~The scene with Ella and the Prince in the garden was cool. The setting was beautiful.
And when Cinderella loses her shoe while swinging on the swing and the prince offers to place it back on her foot! Oh! It was so much fun to ruin the romantic moment by saying to the prince, "If you can find her foot in all that skirt!"
~Cinderella's skirt really was impressively large. It's a wonder the prince was able to dance with her without getting all tangled up in it.
~I expected the mice to talk because that's what they do in the cartoon movie. However, they didn't. All they did was squeak. At first I was disappointed by that, but I now see that, that was the best way to go. The cartoon mice characters wouldn't have fit properly into this story at all.
~There was one line in the movie which stood out to me as being particularly good. It was that scene up in the attic where Cinderella, crushed by her stepmother's harsh treatment, asks her why she treats her so, and the stepmother replies, "Because you are young and innocent and good. And I am..." Yes well, it was pretty powerful, until my dad finished her sentence for her, "old, guilty, and bad." Haha!
~The stepsisters sense of style is horrendous!
Ugly, ridiculous, and...no, Drizella! Cinderella should never take hair-styling lessons from you! (Oh! It's painful!)
~When the stepmother is discussing plans with the Duke and he says "Are you threatening me?" All I can think of is "You are threatening our friendship." (Amazing Grace reference. *wink*)
Okay, now I'm going to get a little nitpicky. I hope you don't mind. But this is the way my mind works.
~*Ahem* Did the stepmother really think she could blackmail Cinderella into letting her rule the kingdom? That's just silly. Like the prince would really be such a fool as to let some strange woman tell him what to do. Honestly! That makes no sense at all.
~Umm...if the prince was going to ride along on the whole slipper-fitting trek anyway, why didn't they just ask him to go along in the first place and identify the girl when he saw her. After all, he knows what she looks like. Why even bother with the shoe?
~And, finally, I just have to say, I'm not at all nervous for Cinderella when she comes down the stairs at the end of the film, wondering whether the Prince--seeing her now as she really is--will still want to marry her. Hello!
This was their first meeting. This is where he fell in love with her. I really don't think there's any doubt about his marrying her.
Alright, let's see if I can wrap this up. I feel like I haven't said anything worth saying in this post, so sorry about that. At least you got to see some pictures (which, of course, you could have found for yourself...but never mind.)
Cinderella is a delightful, sparkling, family friendly film. If you are a fan of fairy tales and princess stories, then I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this movie. (Okay. I think I just overused the letter "f.")
Have you already seen this movie?
What was your opinion of it?