Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella (2015) is a very easy film to turn one’s nose up at, but the end result is surprisingly pretty good. It’s not great, but sometimes you’ve just got to take what you can get. I’ve had a long-standing philosophy that if a remake has to be made, it should be of a bad movie so that there can be some actual improvement. This seems to justify this film’s existence quite nicely because if memory serves, the original Cinderella wasn’t that good. For the most part, the story’s a lot more fleshed out, giving us an insight into Ella’s early life, her relationship with her parents, actual motivation for Lady Tremain and her daughters, character for the prince and his entourage, and what motivates everyone to do what they do. The story’s a lot less shallow too; Ella isn’t going to the ball to meet the prince because he’s a prince, but a friend she met in the woods that she became quite taken with. The stepsisters are also great fun, as they have a good comedic dynamic when they work off of each other rather than being stock bullies like they were in the original.

However, I think when the movie has to adapt the fantastical and kiddie parts of the original, it falls a little flat. Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother just doesn’t do it for me, feeling like she stepped out of a completely different movie. The stuff with the mice also felt very superfluous. I realize that they were a big part of the original, but it’s a real jarring shift when you go from the prince and his father talking about the future of the kingdom to the antics of CGI mice. By the way, those CGI mice were just creepy. Ella also felt a little too squeaky clean at times. I understand that she’s supposed to be a pillar of virtue in the midst of adversity, but the times where she was talking to animals and acting overly whimsical was just too much.

The film was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who gave us Thor and a previous Hamlet adaptation. His talent for gorgeous sets comes into full force here, as everything is extravagantly designed and adds to the fairy tale feel. Branagh’s influence also pulled in a lot of big British names to this production, all of them bringing their own bit of flair and class to the production (and while I don’t watch Downton Abbey, I’m sure a lot of fans will get a kick out of the two actors from the show essentially swapping societal classes for this). I’ve had a rather chilly relationship with Disney’s new trend of remaking old classics into live-action and this isn’t exactly going to set the world on fire, but I think it has a lot more reason to exist than Maleficent did (my heart’s hardened toward that one as of late). I don’t know if I’d see it again on my own, but I’d say it was worth the first watch.

Posted under Reel Snippets

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