Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is a story as-old-as-time that blatantly lacked the modern makeover it deserved. Throughout the movie, there is a feeling of déjà-vu, as if throughout the making Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz ticked boxes to make sure they perfectly recreated the 1950s classic.
Cinderella, played by the beautiful Lily James from Downtown Abby, feels like a step backwards after the huge progress of Disney’s Frozen with sassy Queen Elsa. Cinders’ is far from the independent and modern take on the character we were hoping for. Never once does she stand up to her bitchy stepmother, instead she lets herself be banished to the attic and degraded to the state of maid in her own home.
Prince Charming, played by Richard Madden from Game of Thrones, like the main character, lacks depth as well as good lines. Most of the handsome cast were doing just that. Be handsome and twirl around.
The evil stepmother, played by Cate Blanchett, constantly throws sass to her two ghastly daughters. How will she marry those two girls ? They’re singing voice is terrible and they lack the beauty of Cinderella. An extremely modern concept indeed. Cate Blanchett however, was the only one to stand out from the cast. Beautiful yet dangerous, she approached and made the role her own. We thank her for the break from the sickly kindness of the rest of the cast.
Cinderella’s traditionalism is only redeemed by the beautiful costumes of Sandy Power.
Yet, the visuals and the smooth storytelling are too perfect. Kenneth Branagh missed an opportunity to give Cinderella an up-to-date makeover and show girls that they don’t need to wait for Prince charming to save them.