Sunday, 22 March 2015

Disney's Cinderella

Now, I don't normally do movie reviews as I don't go and watch new movies often. The ones I usually watch in theatres are animated ones, usually by Pixar. But I couldn't resist on doing a post on the new Cinderella film starring Lily James and Kate Blanchett. Why? Because Cinderella is my favourite fairy tale of all times. No, not the Disney's happy ending, but rather the original story with the three balls and the bloody endings to the evil stepmother and the stepsisters.

A short review without spoilers is that this is a nice family movie with gorgeous settings and costumes. The story line is rather lacking in my opinion but it is a good movie for the younger kids with good morale behind it.

Now click ahead to get the detailed review, full of spoilers.

**Again, this is full of spoilers so don't read it if you don't want the film ruined. **

Now.. Where should I start?

Well.. First of all, Cinderella is my favourite fairy tale and I loved watching everything Cinderella related. However, I disliked the Disney version as I found it a little meh. My favourite Cinderella adaptation is Ever After with Drew Barrymore. I had high hopes for Cinderella when I heard it was coming out. But after watching the trailer, I did not have high expectations for it. I did not plan to go see the movie, but my friend wanted to and Kate Blanchett looked so gorgeous in the trailer I thought why not. Now let's begin..

Costumes: Like I said above, the only good thing I really liked from the movie is the setting and the clothes. By clothes, I don't mean the blue gown Cinderella (Lily James) wears through the movie.. I actually hated that gown. Will get to it later. But the gowns that stepmother (Kate Blanchett) wore.. Oh my goodness were they gorgeous! They didn't seem like they matched the time period. Most of the other dresses are corseted upper body with a very full body dress. *Yah I know, sooo descriptive.. sorry!* Whereas Kate Blanchet/Stepmother's dresses were corseted upper body with a very fitted skirt and a large train. It looked absolutely gorgeous on her. Her make up, her hair.. Just absolutely gorgeous perfection!

The prince and the palace people's outfits were gorgeous, the stepsister's outfits were ridiculous. I thought those were done well to suit the characters.

As for Cinderella's outfit.. Hmmm.. Where should I begin.. Well her every day blue outfit.. I hated it.. It seemed pretty obvious she was wearing a corset as she had tiny waist and the dress poofed out like she was wearing wire underneath to give her a larger hip. Yes, I know I suck at describing dresses.. Sorry again! The main problem I had it was how low it was. Everyone else's clothes were pretty conservative. But Cinderella's dress was so low half her chest was out. Lily James also like to do very deep breaths so I found it really annoying to watch.

For her ball gown, it was gorgeous as hell. The transformation scene though.. was very reminiscent of Sailor Moon for me. It was too long and ruined the magic a little bit. Again, I take issue with the teeny tiny waist. Yes it's corseted, but I do worry about sending the wrong message to the young kids who watch the movie.

Actors/Actresses: I watched the movie for Kate Blanchett and I honestly thought she was the best in the whole movie. She played the evil stepmother very well. I felt that the film portrayed the stepmother as a woman whose feelings got hurt after discovering her new husband loved his child more her. That she slowly turned Cinderella into a servant to break her spirit. Her ultimate goal is to make sure she has a comfortable life and that her daughters are well taken care of.

The stepsisters were funny. They were always bickering and I recognize Drisella as she plays Daisy on Downton Abbey. I had a laugh at their ball gowns. They were hilariously outrageous.

The prince was.. well.. charming.. He is not what I expected for the prince in the looks department. I hate to be mean, but his face is kind of meh. When I see him, I can't stop thinking of James Marsden from Enchanted and how he would look so much better as the prince. Character wise, I like how the movie showed his struggle to be his own man and king while trying to please his father. The scene where he had the last talk with his father, how he curled up against the king showed so much vulnerability.

Cinderella.. Sigh.. Oh Cinderella.. Again.. I hate to be mean but I found Lily James to be okay looking. Don't get me wrong, she's a very pretty girl. I just don't think she really lived up to the part where the stepmother says how gorgeous she is. But how she looks does not affect her acting. I found that she did well portraying a young naive girl who has a very large heart to put up with everything that is against her.

My biggest complaint with her acting is her constant deep breaths. I found it distracting. Like she's constantly being awestruck by everything that's happened to her. I spent most of the movie wishing she would just breath normally.

The last complaint I have against Cinderella is when the prince asked her one last time what her name is. She said "Cinderella".. What the hell!!! The movie had her being called Ella for most of her life, about how she cried over being called Cinderella and being denied to sit at the table to eat. So I would imagine she would say "Ella" not Cinderella, a name that she did not like. Yes I get they need to say Cinderella since this is Cinderella's movie. But it just did not match what they portrayed earlier in the film.

As for Cinderella and the prince, I found there was not much chemistry between them. That scene where they were in the secret garden and he went to push her on the swing. It was SO awkward! Then her shoe fell off and he puts it back on.. Even more awkward! There is also when they started the first dance.. I actually heard people next to me going oh my god that is so awkward! Who dances only with the guy's hand on your waist.. Just awkward pairing..

Storyline: Urg.. I have SOO much to complain about the storyline.

The primary concern.. The whole movie spliced so many different stories together.
1) The first tree branch that brushes the father's shoulder.. That is from one of the versions of Cinderella. I remember reading that detail before.
2) The first meeting in the woods and the secret garden. These are all from Ever After. In Ever After, Danielle met the prince in the garden/the woods and mistook him as a thief. In Cinderella, she went on a "joy ride" on the horse and met the prince. Ever After had a secret ruin/garden in which the prince met with Danielle, similar to the secret garden the prince showed Cinderella, albeit without the awkwardness.
3) The animated mice, including Gus Gus. The pink dress Cinderella intended to wear to the ball. These are all from the animated Cinderella film by Disney.

There is SO much usage of computer graphics and animation. It kind of ruined the magic. The mice were all animated so it kind of was really offsetting. They also sudden added the lizards for the sake of turning them into footsmen. Then there's the transformation scene which I already complained about. Then there were the glass slippers... They did not look real at all. They had so much shine to them I wondered if they were real or if Swarvoski just did their own little magic on the shoes.

I found the movie to be pretty bland. It is basically a telling Cinderella's entire life up to being married to the prince. How she grew up, how she became Cinderella, and how she got her happy ending with the prince. There was quite a bit touching scenes where she lost her mother then her father,  and the prince losing his father.

It was really weird for Cinderella, who apparently have not seen anyone outside of her household, to know the practices for a ball. How she bowed, and how she knew exactly how to dance each dance.

And how convenient it was for the prince to be in disguise at the stepmother's house. I can't imagine the Grand Duke would fail to notice the prince after travelling for days through out the kingdom.

I find that there is not much more development into Cinderella and the prince. There was barely any development between them besides meeting twice.  It just seemed like the horse scene was added so it doesn't seem like Cinderella and the prince/Kit met and fell in love at first sight.

Overall thought : I found this movie to be a meh Cinderella adaptation. The dresses are gorgeous but the storyline is a little bland and the characters are not too interesting. I wouldn't spend the $13 to see it in the theatres. I would probably wait for the DVD to come out or wait for Netflix to acquire it to their collection.

If you are looking for a good Cinderella adaptation, I highly recommend Ever After. Both Cinderella/Danielle and the prince are not the most gorgeous people on earth but they have their charm. Their acting seemed more genuine and there was no stupid CGI effects. There are more trials and tribulations between Danielle and the prince so it makes their love to be more genuine than love at first sight. The movie does has its faults, primarily with adding some random characters like Leonardo Da Vinci, who doesn't actually live in the period they are supposed to be in. But it's still the best Cinderella adaptation I have seen.

**Apologies for a long text post with no pictures. Don't want to post pictures I didn't take by myself to avoid any problems**


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