As a 20-year-old, Disney’s new “Cinderella” is all I needed to make me feel like a little girl again. This new, realistic version was just as magical as the cartoon version I used to love many years ago. In the beginning, Cinderella’s family have everything they could want, until tragedy strikes and Cinderella’s mother becomes ill and dies. After a while, Ella’s father marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), who moves in, along with her daughters Drizella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holliday Grainger). Tragedy strikes again when Ella’s father falls ill and dies while away on a business trip. Having nowhere else to go, Ella becomes the victim of the greedy step-mother and step-sisters. What follows is the story we have all been familiar with since childhood — Cinderella being helped by her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) to attend the ball thrown by the prince, her losing her glass slipper and destiny reuniting the prince and Ella to finally be together.
Lily James as Cinderella, did a wonderful job of playing the sweet, caring girl her character is supposed to be. She is known for her roles in “Wrath of the Titans,” “Broken” and “Downton Abbey.” Eloise Webb, who plays the young Cinderella in the beginning and for any flashbacks, also played the same character very well, as a child. Hayley Atwell, Cinderella’s mother, and Ben Chaplin, Cinderella’s father, looked very much in love like their characters were supposed to be. What I found satisfying about the characters of young Cinderella, Cinderella and Cinderella’s mother is that they actually looked alike and it was believable that they were related. I do not understand how the director of a movie can sometimes choose mother and daughter characters that do not look alike, or even worse, two characters that are supposed to be the same person, such as a child and a teenager, that do not look similar. Director Kenneth Branagh made great choices though. I could tell when watching this movie that these specific actors and actresses put their heart and soul into their characters because Cinderella’s family was a tight-knit family that got along well, and generally loved being in each other’s company. I felt that in their actions.
Richard Madden, or Prince Charming, was the perfect fit for this character. He is mostly known for his role in “Game of Thrones.” I could not think of a more flawless, charming man that should play Prince Charming. In many movies, it is typical for the main girl character to fall in love with the bad boy and then she gets hurt and by the end of the movie she ends up with the nice guy, who was there all along. However, another reason I love this movie is because she falls in love with the nice guy in the first place. The best part is that despite being royalty and having power, he is also caring. The plot twist here though is that Cinderella had no idea when she met him that he was the prince and soon-to-be king! Madden and Prince Charming’s dad, Derek Jacobi, played their characters well. They did a phenomenal job of showing their stressed relationship since they often did not see eye-to-eye. Then, towards the end of the king’s life, we can see them come together and make amends before the father dies, and the son takes over the throne.
As much as I hated the cruel Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia, they all played their characters amazingly. The step-mother was incredibly evil, and her daughters were younger, idiotic versions of her.
Overall, I thought the movie was wonderful, and there was nothing I disliked. My favorite part is when the prince’s men realize that there is another maiden in Cinderella’s house. They find her, and her foot fits the glass slipper. She and the prince finally end up together, and they leave the ugly step-mother and step-sisters behind. I also liked that this new version stuck to the original plot well, there were not any major changes. The worst is when a new version of a movie or book comes out and a main event is changed because it takes away from the initial story you loved. The modern twist they put on the movie is also a plus. To understand what I mean, you will just have to go see it for yourself! The movie comes out Friday, March 13. Buy your tickets early to be prepared for this magical adventure!