opinion story by Robin Hendricks
What is sure to be the first in a long line of live action Disney remakes, Cinderella sets a high standard that will be hard to follow.
The new adaptation, starring Lily James and Richard Madden, follows the plotline of the original Cinderella story. The couple has daughter. The mom dies. The dad remarries. The dad dies. The wicked stepmother makes daughter, Ella, work for her and her two daughters. Ella turns into Cinderella. And on and on.
As classic as the tale is, it is a rather simple concept. And while a 105 minute runtime does not by any means make a long movie, it is considerably longer than Disney’s original 1950 Cinderella.
The new adaptation used the extra time to deepen the plot and further the theme: “Have
courage and be kind.” This is all well and good for a number of reasons, the most important: though a few songs were interspersed, they did not use the extra time to make it a musical.
Repeat: it was not a musical.
Instead of first meeting at the ball, Cinderella and the Prince meet in the woods, giving
them some extra time to get to know each other and making the whole plot a little less ridiculous. It actually gave credence to the whole “true love” thing.
Whoever did the casting for Cinderella was spot on because Lily James did a beautiful
job of portraying the classic Disney princess with the added layers of personality the new adaptation gave to her. She was still the optimistic, hard working girl, but she also exhibited the traits of the oft repeated theme, courage and kindness.
The movie has its faults, of course. Some scenes were probably a bit longer than they
needed to be, like both rides in the carriage and her dress’ transformation. Other scenes were rather cheesy, but that can be forgiven when considering the target audience. Because, really, it’s not made for cynical teenagers.
It’s made for children who would look at the pumpkin turning into the carriage with
wonder. Children who would take the lessons to heart.
For the most part, watching the movie transports everyone in the audience, from every
age and disposition, into that childlike mindset. This move can enchant anyone. Make their eyes wide and heart race even when they already know how the story ends.
It is magical, fantastical. One of those movies that can be seen a hundred times without a
loss of love for it.