The Lantern reviews Kenneth Branaugh’s film “Cinderella”

Cinderella - the movie

Press release photo

Cinderella – the movie


The stroke of midnight. A pumpkin turned into a carriage. “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!”. The glass slipper. We all know the story of Cinderella, a orphan girl who is forced to wait on her exceptionally awful step family after her father dies, but the recently released live-action fairy tale film is one that will make viewers both young and old hold this classic a little closer to their hearts.

Fate seems to have set its course for “Ella” when she becomes a housemaid after the death of her father. She caters to every beck and call of her new step family- no matter how ridiculous the request may be- and is jeered at with the cruel nickname Cinderella after her face is covered in ash one morning at breakfast. But Cinderella refuses to lose her kindness towards them and every other creature that comes her way and it is because of this, her story starts to change its course.

Branagh, never loses sight of the original story line and message throughout the film

— Kellie Lawless

The director of the movie, Kenneth Branagh, never loses sight of the original story line and message throughout the film. Instead of cutting beloved parts out of the story, he chose to layer on brilliant personal histories to each of the characters and key plot lines to make certain events more believable without completely changing the course of the film. Viewers get to see both parents of the Disney princess, the stepmother gains a back story to accompany her wickedness, and Prince “Kit” and Cinderella meet before the ball. The set was also wonderfully crafted and gave off a vintage vibe that is both timeless and modern.  Everything from the iconic fairy tale blue dress to the slippers to the carriage is redesigned to recreate the magic that the original film set for viewers in the twenty first century.

While the original movie implies that Cinderella was more kind than brave and maybe a little bit of a pushover, this film sheds a new light on the princess. Cinderella’s mother told her to “Have courage and be kind” and it shows in her quiet yet confident disposition. She is not a damsel in distress but rather a princess who sticks up for herself and it is a powerful message for much of the younger generation to see.

Even though Cinderella is definitely not a new story, viewers will feel like they are seeing the magic come to life for the very  first time. The live action film surpasses everything that the animated film could not do and presents a classic, breathtaking performance that will leave viewers feeling enchanted when they walk out of the theater. Magic and ballroom dancing is not for everyone but “if the shoe fits” wear it, a concept Cinderella is quite familiar with.