And also! I hope you had an incredibly blessed Passover/Unleavened Bread/First Fruits/Resurrection Day! I hope that our Lord and Savior used them to bring you closer to Him.)
The tone of the movie was fairytale yet not too over-the-top to feel quasi historical—it was a mixture of historical eras, though, to make sure you never forgot it was a fairy tale, so when the fairy godmother showed up—the only magical person in the film—you didn’t feel she was out of place. (Side issue, but I just read in a how-to-write book that if, in a work of fiction, you’re going to introduce something typically unbelievable, you’d best hint at it very early on so that readers feel it’s justifiable and belongs in the story when it enters in full. The writer of Cinderella did this perfectly by having Cinderella’s mother speak about magic and the fairy godmother at the beginning so we knew what to expect later on.) As you can tell from that parenthetical note, I noticed tons of things the moviemakers did well, and if you see it/have seen it, you’ll notice them, too, so I don’t need to detail all of them (a daunting task!).
To continue about a few other things that struck me, however: I appreciated the message. “Have courage and be kind” is not something you often hear in pop culture nowadays. I read an article about Cinderella’s brand of power and how it contrasts with the female warriors that are all the rage right now. The director, Kenneth Branagh, said he wanted this movie to show kindness can be a super power (“Behind the Goodness in Disney’s New Cinderella”). That message is something young girls actually benefit from taking to heart rather than violence and attitude. All girls find themselves in positions where they have to choose to be kind and good, and Cinderella shows the importance of that choice. (Albeit a little romanticized, but still … kindness and goodness does pay off!)
Before I saw this movie, I watched the animated Cinderella from 1950. Cinderella is probably my favorite fairy tale and Disney princess (she and Mulan are both up there), but I had forgotten how much the animated version focused on the animals (mice, cat, etc.) and how little on the prince. Which was fine with me; I loved the storyline of the mice and was left with little desire to know more about Prince Charming, who actually seemed rather selfish to me. I loved how the new version paid tribute to the animated version (with such things as reminiscent costumes and a gluttonous mouse called Gus-Gus) but fleshed out the human portion of the story. It was like Cinderella grown up.
I didn’t really set out to write a full review, but just wanted to share some of the many thoughts sparked by this lovely film. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!