For ro­man­tics and 8-year-olds

Kapi-Mana News - - MOVIES -

CIN­DERELLA

Star­ring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Richard Mad­den.

Di­rected by Ken­neth Branagh. Writ­ten by Chris Weitz, Aline Brosh McKenna

Fam­ily fan­tasy ro­mance. 1hr 45min. G rat­ing.

Show­ing at Read­ing and Event Cine­mas

Loathe though I am to ad­mit it, I might be a lit­tle too hard- hearted to re­ally en­joy this new ver­sion of Cin­derella.

Fair enough too, since direc­tor Ken­neth Branagh’s tar­get au­di­ence is at least half ( OK, an eighth) of my age, which is how young you have to be th­ese days to be­lieve, as Cin­derella asks you to, in the power of kind­ness to make dreams come true.

Still, if ever a film was go­ing to put the rose-coloured glasses back on my hag­gard old boot of a face, it’d be one as sweet na­tured and en­chant­ing as Dis­ney’s live ac­tion ver­sion of the 1950 an­i­mated clas­sic.

This glossy new ver­sion sticks pretty closely to the orig­i­nal, retelling the tale of the mys­tery girl who evades her wicked step­mother’s machi­na­tions to cap­ture the heart of Prince Charm­ing.

Branagh’s Cin­derella ( Lily James) doesn’t get a mod­ern makeover so much as a live-ac­tion spruce-up, pour­ing on the glit­ter and adorable wood­land crea­tures in good mea­sure.

What’s new are the pe­riph­eral char­ac­ters who have mo­ti­va­tions and sto­ries of their own.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Prince Kit (Richard Mad­den) and his dear old dad (Derek Ja­cobi), for ex­am­ple, is gen­uinely touch- ing, while the ma­nip­u­la­tive wicked step­mother is given more depth and mo­ti­va­tion in Cate Blanchett’s ca­pa­ble hands.

In­deed, Blanchett takes what could have been a hammy pan­tomime sort of role and gives it so much life I couldn’t help wish­ing there was more of her in fab­u­lous frocks, twist­ing men around her dex­ter­ous fin­gers.

Cin­derella isn’t about that kind of thing, how­ever. It’s about young love, and that re­ally does shine.

Mad­den and James are so per­fectly matched in charm and at­trac­tive­ness it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to deny them – how­ever mired in re­al­ity you might be.

Mad­den is as dash­ing as any Prince Charm­ing should be. One does rather miss his Game of Thrones whiskers (he was Robb Stark on that show), but again, this is not a film for the likes of me.

James is as sweet as a sum­mer peach and 10 times as pretty, with­out be­ing too sim­per­ing or co­quet­tish.

Ul­ti­mately, the magic is in Cin­derella’s de­tails, the in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ters of Cinders’ an­i­mal friends, the cosy clut­ter of her coun­try home, the os­ten­ta­tion of the palaces – not to men­tion Cate Blanchett’s wardrobe – and in the bud­ding young love be­tween Cinders and her Kit.

In the spirit of the film’s hero­ine, I choose not to be un­kind, even in the face of un­apolo­getic and un­evolved schmaltz.

Be­sides, sneer­ing at Cinders and Kit’s doe-eyed love is like kick­ing a puppy in front of a 5-year-old, and I’m not quite that twisted yet.

Cin­derella de­liv­ers, as promised, ten­der ro­mance for true believ­ers, true ro­man­tics and wan­ton es­capists, and there’s noth­ing wrong with that.

Af­ter all, if the shoe fits . . .

Sto­ried love: Lily James as Ella and Richard Mad­den as Prince Kit in Dis­ney’s Cin­derella make a per­fect pair.

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