Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella which is released in March 2015 now has a full length trailer and it looks beautiful and typically Disneyfied. Richard Madden has well and truly been given a Disney makeover and rather than the dark tale of abuse that the Brothers Grimm originally told, Branagh and Disney have instead played it safe with a very generic remake of their 1950’s animated classic of the same name.
Kenneth Branagh more than proved his worth with Thor, showing that he could make a big blockbuster film that featured effects while still having plenty of heart at its centre. He also directed the very dark and twisty Frankenstein, but instead of channelling the best of both of those features into this, which would have been perfect. We instead seem to have a tale that is heavy on the effects (that admittedly look great) and is very light on the darkness, which is something this story could do with a massive dose of.
There are plenty of Cinderella adaptations out there that stick to the lighter side of the tale, like the Hilary Duff sugar-fest that is A Cinderella Story and the slightly twee Ella Enchanted, but there is nothing really gritty that gives this tale the cinematic outing it deserves with plenty of darkness and pep.
Maleficent may have had a few failings (namely Angelina Jolie not turning into the dragon and Aurora lacking any personality what so ever), but it did at least try and do something different. This version of Cinderella just seems to be a carbon copy of the animation with the live action twist, and that to me is disappointing. Where is the new take and angle?
There is so much talent attached to this project. Kenneth Branagh alone is a big win, but it also has Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett who pretty much rocks any part she plays (think The Aviator), in the role of the wicked step mother.
Blanchett will undoubtedly play this part to perfection with plenty of snark and charm, but effectively it seems to be the typical pantomime-like caricature that gets served up every time there is another Cinderella remake on the table. Which frankly, seems to be a bit of a waste of her amazing talent.
Helena Bonham Carter plays the fairy godmother and while it is always nice to see her in a movie, this is just another example of her showing off the typical quirky brand of acting we know and love, but it is frustrating as we know she can do so much more. She proved this in recent years in films like Conversations with Other Women and the TV movie Enid.
Richard Madden is the doe-eyed prince, which is far cry from the Robb Stark that we are used to and also, I feel a bit of a missed opportunity. We know he can do so much more, so why effectively give him nothing to do apart from smile and flirt with the pretty girl.
Stick to the original
If Disney were after a straight-up remake of their animation they have done it, but as that still stands the test of time why do we need another one, no matter how pretty the effects look?