Review: Recreating a Classic Love Story

By Scott Unverzagt in Opinion

Disney’s classic animated love story Cinderella was recreated in live-action by director Kenneth Branagh and premiered in theaters March 13.

The internationally known story tells the tale of Ella, an orphan being raised by her evil stepmother while maintaining her parent’s values of courage, kindness, and forgiveness.

With the production of this movie, Branagh and the cast shed the perception that Cinderella is “just another love story.” The film highlights the adventure of a young girl prevailing in kindness and courageous acts even on her worst days.

Classic animated moments, such as the appearance of the fairy godmother and the transformation of the pumpkin into a carriage, are visually stunning when brought to life. Branagh’s modernizations of these scenes are masterful.

Branagh honors the classic work and introduces elements of adventure and intensity. Cate Blanchett delivers a great performance as the stepmother, emitting a darkness the audience can feel.

Ella, given the name Cinderella by her spoiled stepsisters, becomes overworked when meeting the demands of her stepmother.

She goes on a horse ride to relieve stress and meets a charming prince in the forest. The on-screen chemistry between Lily James, Cinderella, and Richard Madden, the prince, is impossible to miss.

The night of the ball is honored by scenes that capture the entire castle and the expressions of the guests as Ella walks in.

As most know, Ella had to leave before midnight, when things would become normal again. The night of romance quickly turned into an adventure as the protagonist tried to escape the castle.

As the story unfolds, Ella finds love and her values are tested when she seeks a way to forgive her stepmother.

It’s easy to wave Cinderella off as just another Disney remake, however Branagh and the actors manage to change that perception. The courage and kindness of Cinderella shines through, even through the worst days of her life. By putting their own spin on the story, Cinderella sheds the perception of being “just another love story.”

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