Saturday, March 14, 2015

Movie Review: Disney's Cinderella (Live action)

"Cinderella 2015 official poster" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
I enjoy fairy tales and seeing variations on the classic tales. Sometimes they turn out well, and sometimes they aren't. The trailer made the movie look like a faithful adaption of the animated feature, and it was.

Cinderella is a live-action, fantasy, family film by The Walt Disney Company that is very faithful to their animated feature from the mid-20th Century. It is appropriate for all ages.

The Good

Visuals. The visuals were stunning from the costumes to the scenery and everything in between. It couldn't have looked more like the Cinderella movie I was expecting.

Casting. The movie was really well cast. Everyone played their parts well and fit the roles, although the Fairy Godmother could have been much zanier.

Filled Out the Story. This movie does fill out the story by actually showing Cinderella's birth, her family before her mother died, and the change in her family when her Stepmother arrives, scenes we heard about in an opening narration in the animated version.

The Bad

Faithfullness. This movie was TOO faithful to the animated feature. It brings nothing new to the table, nothing fresh, nothing memorable. It makes one wonder why it was even made.

Motivation. This movie starts to explore the motivation behind why Cinderella is so kind, why the Stepmother and Stepsisters are so cruel, and what challenges the Prince faces by marrying for love and not advantage, but it doesn't go far enough. You begin to feel some sympathy and better understand each character's motivation, but only to the point you understand intellectually. You never feel sympathy or empathy for any of them, which you should and is a missed opportunity on the filmmakers' part.

Kindness. We get it. You should be kind. Kindness brings rewards. This movie hits the viewer over the head with a 2x4 over and over again. Had the message been subtler, it would have been stronger. But being so blatant it kind of turns it into a running gag, which is a shame because it's a relevant message that people need to hear.

Pacing. The movie dragged from start to finish. Part of that was knowing exactly what was coming up next so there was never any real excitement or tension. No one was ever in any real danger. There was never any great passion, anger, happiness, or any other emotion. Everyone was pretty mellow the entire film.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I would like to have seen something I haven't seen before. For example, the movie Ever After was an incredibly original take on the Cinderella story that I watched over and over again. And it was copied dozens of times to the point everyone got kind of sick of that take. This movie offered very little beyond what we got with the animated feature, no twists, no fresh takes, no classic scenes or quotable lines. Nothing.

I also would have enjoyed music other than a generic background score. They could easily have incorporated some of the songs form the animated feature or written new songs. But they didn't, and the movie suffered.


Overall this was a good movie if you just want to see the animated movie acted out with live humans or if you loved the original and consider it sacred and anything differing a sacrilege. If you are looking for anything fresh, original, or new, you'll be sorely disappointed.  I give it a 3 out of 5 boxes of popcorn and recommend waiting for the home video release or to watch it free on TV.

No comments:

Post a Comment