Every since I was a little girl I had loved Disney and its films. I loved the music, the stories, the dresses, the magic and the fact that the main character always had to deal with one bad person to have that happily ever after. When I first find out the 1950th version of Cinderella was getting a live-action reboot I was thrilled to see that happening! The first teaser trailer had me very much excited and the frist trailer even more! The actual film was everything I hoped for! It was magical, sweet, hopeful, the dress was gorgeous, the score was amazing and the main characters had great chemistry. I don’t want to sound like that naïve young woman but I truly loved the film! It was amazing to see one of my favourite Disney film come to life.
This live-action version is almost completely the same as the 1950th version. The thing I liked most in this reboot is that we get to see more of the important characters, the character have more depth. Why they do certain things and behave like they do? We see Lily James’ Ella growing up in her lovely cottage in the woods with her parents, played by Ben Chaplin and Hayley Atwell. We all know Ella’s parents die but there’s a big gap in the death of her mother and father. She’s already an adult and very caring and loving to all the animals they have, when her father remarried. It also seems that Ella doesn’t live that long under the authority of her evil stepmother and step sisters – who call her Cinderella – and that she actually did tried to run away. However she explain very well why she can’t leave the place she calls home.
Because her mother dies at a very young age and her father was often on the road, she grow up as a person who needs to take care of the household. In that case I think it was normal for Ella to help her stepmother and sister. However, she also understands at some point that what she is doing is not normal anymore. She takes her horse and start running. This is the moment she first meets the Prince (Richard Madden). From the first moment we see chemistry between the two and I like the fact that the writers changed their first meeting. In the animation film, the ball was their first meeting. In this film, the ball was actually ment for the royals and the riches in the Kingdom and for the Prince to find his woman. But the Prince knew Ella was not royal or rich so he decided to open the ball for everyone. The Prince has way for saying in this film and is more than a pretty face. The same goes for the stepmother (Cate Blanchett). She has a strong character, looks gorgeous and very sophisticated but her clothes shows she’s not kind. When she tells Ella her ‘story’, you almost get sympathy for her. She has had a tough life and is very jealous. You can see that already at the beginning of the film. She’s jealous of the love Ella and her father have for each other and she realises she will never be her second husband’s number one.
For Cinderella to actually go to the ball, she needs to go through the same things as in the animated version. But seeing this with real people it’s really beautiful and magical. Even when Helena Bonham Carter has the looks of an old hag, you can see and hear its Helena. But when she transforms she really looks as a Fairy Godmother. And then Cinderella’s dress, her arrival at the ball, the dance with the Prince and their ‘alone time’, is truly amazing! It’s really beautiful and there’s so much chemistry between James and Madden, which made the situation sweet and magical. I don’t want to sound like a 12-year-old but I really feel that way.
The part of the mice and the other animals is much smaller. I did wonder how the writers would solve this animal issue but it was done great. Gus Gus is the only mouse who got a name but with his ‘obesity’ you can really see it’s him. You have to look very closely to see some character traits at them but they’re there. When some of the animals are transformed by the Fairy Godmother they still look like they animal they are, which is very cool! I was also very joyous to see two other familiar actors: Stellan Skarsgard as the grand Duke and Nonso Anozie as the captain and good friend of the Prince. They both were interesting characters since the Grand Duke has changed and I think the Captain is an entirely new character.
In conclusion: Cinderella is sweet, magical, beautiful and the score – made by Patrick Doyle – is typical Disney. The characters have more depth and to me it’s less black and white than the animated version was. This is the perfect film for adults who want to relive their childhood and give in to the magic!