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Film Review: “Cinderella” (2015)



The story of Cinderella is as old as time itself. You know the story by heart. There is nothing new, no surprises.  Even so, Kenneth Branagh manages beautifully to restore the beloved fairy tale and bring it onto the big screen in a splendid way with depth, soul and heart, which continuously beats throughout the film, becoming stronger and stronger until you become as brave, courageous and kind as Cinderella.  And that will make you feel that you can make your own, magical future. But before Cinderella gets her long awaited, happily-ever-after ending, she must deal with her less fruitful and unpleasant present; she must struggle and face her cruel stepmother without losing face and her dignity… Her journey will be long, but not long enough to break her spirit or her hope for a better future…

And it all begins as it`s written in the book: the narrating voice of Helena Bonham Carter, as the Fairy Godmother, introduces Ella, long before she becomes Cinderella. Ella`s mother is as beautiful as sunshine, and her father is as charming as if he were a prince himself. However, good fortune and a life of happiness turns its back on Ella`s family, when the life of her mother ends unexpectedly. Many years after, Ella`s father decides to marry again, while he knows in his heart there is no room for another woman. Wishing to unite his family again, he brings home a lady with two adult daughters. Their happiness does not last long, Ella`s father`s life is interrupted unexpectedly while he is away on a trip. Seeing Ella alone and helpless, Ella`s stepmother and stepsisters starting taking advantage of her vulnerabilities, kindness, and soft heartedness, they try to turn her life into nightmare until the moment when Ella meets a dashing stranger…


As the film progresses, the viewer is thrown into the beautiful world created by The Perrault.  The story still follows Cinderella, where she cooks, cleans, and does house work like a servant, while her Stepmother (Cate Blanchett), and her stepsisters, and see themselves as Queens in a little Kingdom. The way the palace is decorated looks absolutely marvelous and fantastic, while Cinderella gets ready for her first ball, where she is about to meet her prince charming. And from this point on the story becomes breathtaking and majestically beautifully as any film can get, where the devoted and attentive viewer will certainly start to feel himself become part of something bigger than just a fairy tale.

Disney`s Cinderella is wonderful and simple in every scene, and Lily James`s Cinderella is as pure, innocent, courageous and kind hearted as her mother. James`s performance is engaging, interesting, and flawless, as she truly feels how important it is to portray a character that is loved by so many; who should never be forgotten. Cate Blanchett`s Stepmother is as cruel as we all expect her to be – there is simply no way should could by any crueler… It is really fascinating to see how an award winning actress delivers these seemingly, easy scenes with such devotion and dedication.

In Conclusion, Branagh`s Cinderella is exactly what you would expect to see. It`s a family approved film, with all the necessary scenes to make it an absolutely memorable, flawless, and simple story that is not ruined with unnecessary scenes and visual effects. The journey Branagh takes us on is truly remarkable. The film exceeds all expectation, making Cinderella as magical as possible and reminds everyone how important it is to stay brave and kind in a very harsh and difficult situation – and never lose an ability to forgive…

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