Movie review: Cinderella
Rain in Doha? Well, it happens once in a blue moon so I seized the opportunity to go see the new Cinderella movie with my kids and their friends and mums. I am pretty certain that mums enjoyed it most.
Storyline in short
You know the story don’t you? After Cinderella’s father dies, her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and evil stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera) bully her and force her to become their unpaid servant. Despite this, Cinderella (Lily James) remains positive, but when she tries to go to the palace ball, of course her stepmother tries to interfere.
My daughter and her friend, both five years old, loved Cinderella particularly in her ball gown. The boys on the other hand, when asked, said the prince, possibly just because the girls preferred the princess. The mums liked the prince for a different reason—he is pretty cute. I also loved the lizard that become a footman, mainly because he had the right attitude to life: I am not going to be a footman for long so I am going to enjoy it. Plus he used his tail pretty cleverly.
The girls’ (mums included) favourite part was the ball, by far—the beautiful dresses, the dancing and then the exciting exit of Cinderella. The boys, both seven years old, liked the part where the carriage was racing away and turns back into a… well, let’s not give everything away.
The movie was possibly for a slightly older audience, but the kids thoroughly enjoyed it even though the beginning moved a little slow for them and was particularly sad.
Discussions to be prepared for
- Ella’s mother’s parting message of “Have courage and be kind” is wonderful and something we should really all embrace. It opened up a good conversation about manners, ethics and respect in our household.
- Death and particularly why they all died so young were questions that were asked too, all kids went to bed no issue though.
Note: There is no Frozen mini-film at the end of the Cinderella version airing in Qatar.
G: Very mild themes.
A bit of a jolly.
Starring: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgård, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Running time: 105 minutes
Rated: G (Australia), U (UK), PG (USA)
Violence/gore: Characters are bullied, hit with objects, near-crushed, pushed, knocked over, thrown through the air, locked away, head-grabbed. A carriage with occupants almost falls off a high cliff. People collapse. Objects smashed, broken, ripped. Explosion. Hunting, fencing. Insect eaten. Arguing, yelling, lying. Scratch eyes out, cut head off, poisoning, dash brains out mentioned. Blood/gore: None.
Sex/nudity: Kissing, flirting. Cleavage. Semi-nude statues (no genitals seen).
Vices/drug use: Alcohol (fortified wine). Gambling (cards).
Offensive language: Name-calling.
Themes: Cinderella, orphans, romance, love, fairy godmothers, stepmothers, stepsisters, family, father-daughter relationships, father-son relationships, royalty, servitude, kindness, courage, resilience, forgiveness, grief, loss, hunting, art, palace balls, therianthropy, magic, betrothal, cruelty, weddings.
Hidden extras: Wedding setting. Deceased mother/wife, father/husband. Gravely ill mother, father. Deceased husband mentioned. Fireworks, full moon. Butterflies, bluebirds, chickens, geese, horses, mice, cat, goats, rabbit, stag, dog, lizards. Medical examination. Burp. Brief French language.
Critics like: Sumptuous, fearless, wonderful, confident, delicate, beautiful, bold, kid-friendly, whimsical, straight, honest, romantic, colourful, vibrant, enchanting, uplifting, intoxicating, playful, fun, captivating, graceful, witty, charming, stately, perky, pretty, sweet, harmless. Lovely chemistry between leads, Cate Blanchett makes an epic villain, lavish visuals, opulent/baroque/confectionary/dazzling production design, extraordinary costumes, swoony romantic score, affecting father-son moment, quintessentially Disney, first-rate CGI.
Critics don't like: Safe, calculated, square, unoriginal. A tad leisurely, some ropey CGI, some forced/pantomime humour, serviceable script.
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