‘Cinderella’ film proves the everlasting lure of fairy tales

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‘Cinderella’ film proves the everlasting lure of fairy tales

Jonathan Olley

Jonathan Olley

Jonathan Olley

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With a bit of magic, “Cinderella” strikes a chord for audiences.

Having compassion for others and believing in oneself are classic messages that “Cinderella” proves will endure for years to come. Young or old, we all need to be reminded to “have courage and be kind” in the face of adversity and “Cinderella” teaches us why and how.

Leading lady, Lily James,  (from “Downton Abbey”) brings charm and grace to the role of the compassionate princess. She will surely be remembered for an opening weekend of $70 million; the highest grossing film for director Kenneth Branagh.  Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett as Cinderella’s stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother signal that this film is more than just another remake.

There are a few slight additions to the classic story.  The audience learns more about Cinderella’s childhood, prior to her evil stepmother and step-sisters. Cinderella’s mother is not written out of the movie in one line; a refreshing choice by the screen writers to emphasize the impact of the mother-daughter relationship.  However, it wouldn’t be a Disney movie if the parents lived, of course. Throughout the movie, Cinderella reminds herself of her mother’s values and love every time she sings the lullaby, “Lavender’s Blue” . ‘Modernizing’ fairytales has become a trend of late, but not here with the delightful selection of an authentic 17th-century folk song, fitting the film’s time period.

Patrick Doyle composed the music for the film, complete with compositions of swelling and poignant classical pieces that create the epic, fairytale sound Cinderella deserves for iconic scenes like the dress transformation, the magical pumpkin turning into a carriage, Cinderella and the prince’s first dance, and the moment the shoe fits. The soundtrack, available on iTunes and Spotify, contains a magnificent 33 tracks — two extras are Lily James singing the classic “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and Helena Bonham Carter singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” Both favorite songs are unfortunately not included in the film, but a lovely treat regardless.

It hardly would be a fairytale without a prince — Prince Kit (thank you for finally telling us his name, Disney!) played by Richard Madden, who has a piercing gaze and fits the ideal image of Prince Charming. His sweet lines about Cinderella as “the girl who forgets her shoes,” and his determination to find her again are swoon-worthy. With the pair’s on-screen chemistry, it is easy to be convinced of their genuine match.

Prince Kit doesn’t “sweep her off her feet,” however.  The way they meet is more modern, another slight variation of the storyline. Cinderella wasn’t spending her days moping around for a prince either.  The two happened to meet one day and he just happened to be a prince. He can’t help falling in love with her, and she with him. The love story focuses little on his royal ties . Even after the film’s credits, the magic doesn’t wear off and “Cinderella” sets a standard for future live-action-fairytale remakes, such as “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, due out in March of 2017.

All ages can enjoy the splendor of a fairytale like “Cinderella.” Re-imagined for modern actors and scenes, but staying true to the original beloved 1950 film portrays that timeless fit and fashion of the glass slipper remains.