‘Cinderella’ casts enchanting spell on viewers

One of the most-beloved fairy tales, “Cinderella,” has been bippity-boppitily brought to the big screen in the over-the-top, yet heart-warming, manner signature to only Disney.

If you have just arrived from another planet, let me summarize the story. In short, a kind and beautiful, young girl who is mistreated by her stepmother and two stepsisters falls in love with a prince at a ball after having been transformed into the equivalent of a princess by her fairy godmother. She quickly leaves the ball before the spell is broken, leaving her glass slipper—it must not have been too comfortable—which the prince uses to find her in the end.

Despite some over-acting and some overdone sets, the film is all-in-all entertaining, especially due to a few small plot twists which keep audiences on their toes.

Regardless of the obvious fact that she is not a real blonde, Lily James, who plays the title character, brings a dreamy, youthful energy to the film that is in some ways similar to “Alice in Wonderland.” She portrays the epitome of a Disney princess, almost laughably like Amy Adams in “Enchanted”; however, James also attempts to show the many layers of her character and the storyline of the well-known classic.

Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Cinderella’s stepmother, truly embodies the wicked villain, performing the character’s sharp, alert mannerisms to a tee, while also illustrating the complexities of the villain.

Sadly, the always colorful Helena Bonham Carter, Cinderella’s fairy godmother, receives little screen time, but brings a captivating performance nonetheless. Carter and the prince (Richard Madden) are a few who bring the most laughs, mostly through their delivery of the dialog.

The only true let down is the mice. In Disney’s animated “Cinderella,” the mice are some of the most-memorable characters, but in this film they really do not serve a great purpose and are rather awkward compared to the other special effects.

The ingenious marketing strategy of the “Frozen” short before the feature seems to successfully attract the attention of children and the wallets of parents, but the much anticipated return of Anna and Elsa does not, for once, steal the show. Instead it is, surprisingly, the glass slipper that leaves quite an impression on audiences.

Though the clock may be counting down to midnight for the wave of live-action fantasy films, for now the newest edition is riding merrily off into the sunset in its gold pumpkin carriage.
-Delaney King