Yesterday, I went to watch the new Cinderella film. At first, when hearing they were doing another Cinderella story, I was sceptical, I’ve seen many Cinderella story retellings over the years but none have lived up to my love for the animated classic.
However, this one did.
I absolutely adored the film, for many reasons. The storyline was perfect, both sticking to the original tale but also adding charm, wit and humour. It was a captivating tale, not just on love, but hope, strength and courage. It was about fighting, fighting till there is no strength left in you and even then, to keep going, tosurvive. It captivated the essence of love, hate, sadness and despair, hope, courage and family, friendship too, with the most unlikely of creatures.
Cinderella or Ella was such a good depiction of the heroine. She was strong, determined and held a huge amount of will. She proved that love does need to come from a man; it can come from family and friends. She proved that one does not need a man to save her. She can save herself. She survived a terrible household, a life of pain and abuse. She lived through it all and still had hope of a brighter future. She deserved happiness and if she found that in Prince Kit, who she fell in love with, on her consent, her choice and own direction, there’s nothing wrong with that. She still retained all the intelligence, goodness and strength she held when she was a girl trapped in a terrible household, the only difference now, was that someone was able to see it. Someone who liked it, Kit, he took her for everything she was and so would the kingdom.
She held a huge amount of courage and hope, one that I could not fathom. I could not cope in such a household. Being abused emotionally, physically by being pushed around and made to sleep on the cold, hard, stone floor by the burning embers of an old fire, Ella really did hold her ground. She did their bidding, kept a smile on her face and tried to mask her feelings as well as she could. She did everything they wanted, despite it hurting her, their taunts and being treated like a servant. She tried to be kind and good but always had a smart answer and never appeared to be weak. No, she held her ground, as best as she could in an abusive household, though it proved difficult. In the end, she’d had enough and quite rightly, left without so much as a care.
Despite all her strength and wit, she did falter, feeling despair and sadness at her situation. She effectively showed many sides to the human emotional span and in doing so, was able to engage with the audience, making them root for her. Yes, while she did the bidding of her step mother, Lady Tremaine and her daughters, she did feel sorrow for her lost parents and for what her life had become. It seemed at times, she wanted to give up, especially when she was banned from going to the ball. However, with the help of her fairy godmother, her faith is restored.
When meeting the handsome and intriguing Prince, she is at first confused as to who he is and in those short moments, she was able to affect him so deeply, that he could not stop thinking about her afterwards. It was her strength and goodness that captured his heart, he was taken by her. Her witty comebacks to his comments and gentle smile seem to be imprinted in his mind and like Richard Madden said himself, Ella does need someone to make her happy or to give her strength. She’s fine on her own; it is the Prince who needs to prove his worth. From his eyes, to his hair, to his smile, to his kind heart and warm nature, the Prince is the complete opposite of Ella’s step mother and step daughters. He is kind and caring, loving and respectful of her and her wishes. He does what she wishes and stops at nothing to find her. He sees through the mask Ella wears and knows right away that the way she is living, is not one of comfort. However, despite Kit, the Prince, wanting to find Ella, when she confronts her step mother, in that dingy attic she has to sleep in, she refuses her step mother’s bargain. Her will to protect the kingdom and Prince overalls her own wishes, she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness, as she has done her whole life, for the sake of others.
Ella, though alone, proves that love can be found in family, friends and from within. It is, in the end, what gives her true happiness, finding Kit happened to be a lucky, very fortunate twist of fate. And while the step mother and daughters are apparently banished with the cunning Grand Duke, finally Ella is free.
The film hit me with a wave of happiness, mixed with the bittersweet taste of nostalgia. I remember watching the Disney classic, my mother telling me the tale when I was falling sleep. It was a childhood memory and watching it in cinema, brought back many memories. It reminded me of the days of innocence and youth, the days where life hadn’t yet been cruel and harsh, where you still believe in happy endings. For that brief moment, for those hours in the cinema watching the film, I felt happy, it was a break in the dark spell I’d been having and for the briefest of fleeting moments, I began to believe once more. That feeling soon past when we left the cinema, real life is unlike the films and books we love, that’s what makes them so precious, because they are an escape to worlds that can give us far more than ours can.
With great acting from all, this film is a must see. It holds everything both a young soul and old would enjoy. Though, many of us have grown apart from Disney and no longer believe in such happy endings, where everything is good and pure, it is films like these that could perhaps restore some faith. I wish I could be one of those people but I’m afraid, no matter how much I loved this film, I’ve become quite the pessimist.
Either way, this film is bound to bring joy and happiness to you, so go ahead and watch it.