Mr Kenneth Branagh reminds us that magic is real in his adaptation of the latest Cinderella.

You don’t have to be five years old to go and watch Cinderella at the movies. You just have to believe in the power of magic and love.

The previews of this film do not do it justice, and I commend all of the single fathers who were in the audience who accompanied their five year old daughters dressed in Disney Princess costumes to witness such an exciting, inspiring, captivating film.

My initial thought when I saw these dads was that they would fall asleep half way through the film, but to my surprise, and to every other adult’s surprise there, we all enjoyed the film thoroughly, and these dads were very much awake when it finished. There was a feeling of general contentment and happiness in the audience.

With Mr Branagh’s direction it doesn’t feel like make-believe. It doesn’t feel like it was made for five year old girls in love with Disney princesses. It leaves adults as well as children mesmerised and in awe. The casting is spot-on, the added storyline is solid and instantly accepted; viewers are given a small backstory about Cinderella’s life before life with her evil stepmother and her two ugly stepsisters – a facet which has been dismissed in every version of Cinderella. This snippet gives us a nice little foundation for Cinderella’s life that we’ve never seen before.

We are given an era, a sense of a place in time that might once have existed, pushing any feelings of it being magical realism aside for just a moment to plant us in a reality that isn’t all that foreign from what once might have been in say an aristocratic year of roughly 1790. The lands, the backdrops, and the costumes are so perfect, the dialogue of the evil step mother, played by Cate Blanchett, acid tongued when it needs to be, but heart-warming and witty when Cinderella’s fairy godmother, played by Helena Bonham-Carter, is working her magic.

The visual effects involving the magic scenes creates images that will be stuck in my mind forever, for their vibrancy, and sheer delightfulness. A few times I actually said WOW, and I’m 25 years old. We have come a long way with films, and I’m sure to any five year old out there, the stunning visual effects won’t mean much when every other film they have ever seen is of the same artistic/digital calibre.

But, if like, me, you are an adult, who watched the cartoon version of Cinderella in 1995, I can guarantee you will be saying wow as well, because we all have witnessed the improvements to films over the years with things like CGI and this one, for me, takes the cake! I could watch this film over and over and I would never tire of it.

If you’re a girl or a woman, or a flamboyant guy, or a single dad with a five year old daughter, who likes glitter, and sparkles, and falling in love with princes with thick dark hair, stunning blue eyes, and Colgate smiles, then this movie is for you. You don’t have to be five years old to want to fall in love with dashing royalty, to be swept off your Swarovski-esque-glass-slippered feet, or to shine the brightest you have ever shone – you just have to believe in magic and in the power of dreams. Because, sometimes, dreams do come true. Five stars!


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