You know the movie industry is suffering when Disney feels the need to go back and make a live-action remake of every previous animated movie.
When my friend first told me that Disney was making a new Cinderella movie, I was not too optimistic that I would like it. She convinced me to go see it, though, because of the diverse cast (Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, and Hayley Atwell), which is something I always love.
The start of the movie was touching and sad, with Ella’s mom (Hayley Atwell) saying “be good and have courage” to Ella (Lily James) as she lay dying. It would have been a strong message that could pull the story together in full circle if Ella did not say it every five minutes. Instead of feeling inspired to “be good” and “have courage”, I was frustrated that Ella had no depth to her character. She was too perfect – she did not get upset or angry at all – and I quickly became bored with her.
Thankfully, Ella’s dull personality was overshadowed by humorous scenes with the ditzy step-sisters, magical ball gowns, and a charming prince who was finally more than a pretty face. Compared to the original animated movie, Ella and Prince Charming (Richard Madden) swapped personality dynamics. The prince’s backstory, with a tough-to-please father and a secret garden, was almost more intriguing than Ella’s. And this time around, Prince Charming even has a name: Kit. I was not prepared to hear girls fawning over a prince who shared my name, or an angry king who practically screamed it, but it was fun enough joking with my friends about it.
Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) was even given a more interesting character. She is cunning, deceitful, depressed, fearful, envious, and persistent. She looks out for her daughters and herself. She fights for what she wants, even if it means taking down others. She is rude and vicious, but one can’t help but admire her tenacity.
Disney recently announced a new live-action Beauty and the Beast and Mulan movie. I still haven’t decided if I’m excited for them or not, but if they’re anything like the Cinderella movie, hopefully we can expect some more diverse characters and cinematic magic.