Live action Cinderella lives up to the childhood expectations


Ashley Tanner

Cinderella, a Disney animated classic that first came out in 1950 and has been recreated in many different ways such as Drew Barrymore’s Ever After and Anne Hathaway’s Ella Enchanted can add another Cinderella to the list. Cinderella, starring Lily James and Richard Madden did not disappoint.
James is a beautiful Cinderella, full of poise and grace,  she captures the innocent strong young woman that Cinderella has always been.  From her kind heart she had as a child to her strength when becoming an orphan and being  a maid by the hand of her stepmother, she never ceased to be “Cinderella.” She had big glass slippers to fill, and not for a second did I question that she is Cinderella.
James’ embodies all that Cinderella strives to be, which is have courage and be kind, words her mother told her before she died.  Her performance moved a little girl sitting behind me to tears, leading me to the conclusion that James is a perfect Disney princess.
Unlike in the original Disney Cinderella animated classic, Prince Charming plays a bigger role in the film. As in most Disney princess movies, the focus is on the princess and how she gets through the rising action that leads to her prince. In this adaption, the audience gets to understand his side of the story a little bit more. It shows him more as a person rather than an object trying to be attained. “Kit” as he is referred to in the movie, takes on another dimension as a human being to Cinderella rather than a prince who is idolized by all.
Madden, a handsome young man, played Kit quite well from his attractive appearance to . There have been many “prince charming’s”  throughout the years and Madden is certainly one of the best. His natural charm shone through his smile and dedication to finding his mystery woman
As a whole the movie followed the original very closely. But with a difference of about 30 minutes, there is room for more depth.
The evil step-family has always been portrayed as just mean; hardly ever an explanation or background as to why they became so cold-hearted. Cate Blanchett plays the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and does to with elegance and an edge of evil grace. Uncovering a little bit of her past to find out that the love of her life died tragically, leaving her a widow with demanding daughters. The thought had never occurred to me that she was previously married even though she had two daughters, I had always seen her has a bitter older woman and nothing more. Seeing the love that her new husband had for Cinderella left her bitter and resentful, in no way justifying her cruel actions but is a sensible explanation. Blanchett captures the heart of stone that is Lady Tremaine.
All in all I have few negative feelings towards the film. At various stages, scenes between Cinderella and Kit are awkward and uncomfortable to watch. Not for reasons of inappropriate interactions but because they are long and drawn out. But looking past the awkward scenes, this movie is perfection. The cinematography is beautiful, from Cinderella’s little cottage in the woods to the grand castle the ball is held at, the movie is filled with magical sets that are appealing and fairy-tale like.
If you are into Disney princess movies or fairy-tales, I highly suggest Cinderella because it embodies all of the childhood memories of Cinderella and adds a new point of view and understanding. I give it an eight out of ten.
by Ashley Tanner
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