Ever see your college-aged friends squeal over coloring books? Watching Cinderella in the Majestic theatre felt exactly like squealing over coloring books, or like curling up in bed having bedtime stories read to you. The first day of spring, with Rita’s free Italian ice beforehand with four other girls, it was a fine day to take a break from being an almost-twenty-something.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh for Walt Disney Pictures and RKO Pictures, Cinderella (2015) might be one of the dozens of classic damsel-in-distress-turned-princess remakes out there. In fact, Cinderella (2015) is based on Walt Disney’s classic Cinderella (1950) animated film, which is based on Cendrillon by the French author Charles Perrault (1697), which might have been based off even older traditional folk tales. The movie takes elements from its older Disney counterpart, keeping the iconic blue dress, the blonde hair, and even the mouse GusGus.
The cast is a mix of the ever-elegant Cate Blanchett as the stepmother, the delightful Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Richard Madden as Prince Charming, and Lily James as Cinderella.
The movie runs the risk of being cliché, especially with the very black-and-white characters and the “have courage and be kind” mantra. However, the movie fills in delightful details to the life of the fairy tale characters. The colorful and vivid visuals are impressive, and the usual Disney magic occurs thanks to their eye for detail: the antique trinkets in Cinderella’s farmhouse, the dusty yet enchanting attic, and even the pop-colored miscellany the stepsisters are always seen with. The movie score complements the visual, swinging the audience deep into the fairy tale.
While the trend of retelling fairy tales through movies is getting a little bit old, Disney did an exceptional job. You’ll still hold your breath when you see the Prince running after Cinderella, laugh as the fairy godmother fumbles through getting Cinderella ready, and gasp when the wicked stepmother does yet another unbelievably mean thing. Some of my favorite moments from the movie were Helena Bonham Carter’s interpretation of the fairy godmother (think Hunger Games Effie Trinket), and Cate Blanchett’s cold, evil, yet funny portrayal of the evil stepmother.
If you’re not sure whether the 113 minutes is worth the time off studying, listen to Albert Einstein about reading (or in this case, watching) fairy tales: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”