Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 20th March, 2015
Time : 105 minutes
Director : Kenneth Branagh; Writer : Chris Weitz, based on the fairy story; Music : Patrick Doyle
Starring : Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgard, Nonso Anozie, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Chaplin, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Hayley Atwell
This one failed as a live action film for me – for being too straight-forward a retelling of the fairy tale, without any of the whacky characters, the double-meaning jokes, or the fantastic layers that usually accompany Disney / Pixar films
This is simply the vanilla version of a classic. With quite a few girlie touches. A heroine, Lily James, who believes in the world not as it is but it should be. Who believes in magic. Who’s motto, given by her dying mother, Hayley, is “To have courage and to be kind”. Who strives to do the same even when Cate Blanchett, the step-mother, with her two dumb daughters, Sophie and Holliday, move in and treat her like a servant girl after her father, Ben Chaplin’s death, after they fire the staff, to economize.
There is something interesting at least about the Prince, Richard Madden, and the sub-plot about his struggle with his father, Derek Jacobi, the King around whom he should marry. Stellan Skarsgard, the Royal Duke, has some vested interests, while Nonso Anozie, a Captain, has the Prince’s best interests at heart. And then, one thing leads to another, there is the Royal Ball, Helena Bonham Carter makes a brief appearance as a fairy Godmother and all is as we know it…
The music is nothing to write home about either, though the sets are sumptuous and nice. This one is more for mothers and daughters, with an age limit of around twelve-thirteen for the latter. They make the fairy story come alive with great visuals but fail to add any other perspective or interpretation to the classic. Perhaps we’ve been spoilt with the earlier animated and live versions of the tales, but surely isn’t that what we expect from such films ?