I usually don’t know or care about the latest movies, but something shocking happened this past week: I watched the new Cinderella. In the theaters. Crazy, right? Anyway, I couldn’t help analyzing it and giving you my thoughts.
The Good Stuff
• The Visuals
From the decoration of the old house she lived in, to the costumes, to the palace, it was all beautiful, a visual feast.
• The Supporting Characters
Cinderella and Kit (the prince) were amazing, but the other characters were just as, if not more so, fascinating. For instance, the fairy godmother was wonderfully irreverent, and the king had a touching struggle between desire for his son to be happy and the pressure of doing what was right for the kingdom. Cate Blanchett as the stepmother was perfect, and the stepsisters were perfectly hilarious, with their ridiculous dresses and ditzy dreams.
• The Plot
This rendition followed the general story very well and added in only a few new scenes, such as the prince and Cinderella meeting in the woods. The additions were tasteful, with no unnecessary drama, enhancing the overall storyline. I loved how it embellished Cinderella’s younger life, showing how her parents and childhood impacted the rest of her life, and I also enjoyed learning more about the stepmother’s motivations behind what she did.
• The Message
The most obvious message of the movie was the advice Cinderella’s mother her: “Have courage, and be kind”. That itself is not a bad message, but I also loved the deeper message of what makes a girl beautiful and valuable. Yes, Cinderella was pretty, but that was not the main reason that the prince loved her. He focused on her spirit and kindness, and the overall tone is that she is beautiful because of her goodness. She was the perfect balance between a tough girl and a wimpy push-over. She was courageous but cherished Kit’s protection of her. I also loved how it portrayed the beauty of domestic duties—she was praised for knowing how to cook, clean, and take care of the animals, while her stepsisters were spoiled and un-skilled.
• The Soundtrack
I really loved the soundtrack (minus the closing song—it was too cheesy and modern and rather ruined the feel of the movie), especially the soaring strings. Simply beautiful.
The Not-so-Good Stuff
There really isn’t much to complain about. Some minor worldview problems—”have courage, and be kind,” says Cinderella’s mother, expecting her to do so in her own power. Of course, no one could do that without Christ working in them. However, I don’t consider it a huge problem, and I’m excited that the movie viewed those two characteristics so highly. I think the biggest bone I have to pick would be that Cinderella was a little flat—perhaps too good. I would have liked to see her struggle a bit more with being kind, but her goodness wasn’t distracting or even very unrealistic. Oh, and Kit’s eyes were just a little too blue.
Also, if anyone’s concerned about it being clean, the farthest it goes physically is a quick kiss. It’s perfectly family friendly.
Have you seen it? What did you think?