‘Cinderella’ sets the bar high for live-action fairy tales

By Kate Muska
April 3, 2015

Everyone knows the age-old story: A beautiful, kindhearted girl is cursed by the fate of her father’s death not long after he marries a wicked woman with two horrendous, spoiled daughters. The three horrible humans treat the girl, Cinderella, as a servant and a slave. On the night of the royal ball—to which all young eligible ladies are invited—Cinderella’s dress is torn and destroyed by her step-sisters. All is hopeless until a mysterious woman claiming to be Cinderella’s fairy godmother arrives and turns her dreadful night into a magical evening with all the trimmings: a magical horse and carriage, beautiful dress, and sparkly, glass slippers.

The only catch is that the magic will only last until midnight.

We all know what happens next. Cinderella meets her true love, the prince, at the ball, but he doesn’t know who she is. When the clock strikes 12, she runs away with not even enough time to retrieve the glass slipper she loses along the way. With this one clue, the prince is forced to search the kingdom until he finds the foot it matches, and true love prevails.

We’ve seen what can happen when a director tries to redo a famous, classic Disney princess tale. “Maleficent” was done to tell a spin-story on” Sleeping Beauty.” “Snow White” has been retold in two different ways: one fairly pleasant with “Mirror, Mirror,” and one not so much—“Snow White and the Huntsman.” It’s a bold feat to take on these classics and give the story a different angel. People love the originals, so one has to be careful with what they do to them.

While fans were not so happy with the aforementioned classics being turned and twisted into something they were never supposed to be, the new “Cinderella” has been getting rave reviews. It received an 84 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 5/5 by thousands of Fandago users and a 7.8 on IMDB.

What is different about this live-action fairy tale that made it so much better than the other remakes?


That was the key. Director Kenneth Branagh brilliantly retold the beloved Disney story without ruining it. There were no unexpected plot twists and no so-called “witty” endings. It was Cinderella. With beautiful sets, an amazing score, creative and fitting costumes and great lead roles, this story has been wonderfully redone to not only capture, but boost the story respectfully to those who fell in love with the original.

Lily James (Cinderella) and Richard Madden (Prince Charming) portrayed the magical, true-love ending with such perfection and chemistry. The audience’s hearts yearned for the kindhearted yet brave Ella, and they fell in love with the charming prince. They felt Ella’s joy when they met her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) and loved to hate her wicked step-mother, expertly played by Cate Blanchett.

Although Branagh did add a few of his own extremities, they only served to enhance the original story, such as the back story on Ella’s mother and father, the more-developed plot of the wicked step-mother and the scene where the prince and Ella meet for the first time.

Critics and viewers alike agree that “Cinderella” is well worth the buck to go and see, saying that if Walt Disney himself was alive today, he’d be proud.

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Kate Muska

A sophomore communications major with a minor in English, Katie is very dedicated to her writing. Katie is an assistant editor to the Lifestyles section of the Loquitur and is looking to go into the field of publishing.

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