Disney’s Cinderella

This classic fairy-tale loved by little girls and grown ups alike has been reinvented so many times that reinvention itself has become something of a tired cliché.

Traditional fairy-tales and feminism aren’t the most comfortable bedfellows: Swooning when a prince walks in doesn’t exactly scream bra burner.

So it came as something as a surprise to me when Kenneth Branagh’s remake of the classic Disney film, originally made 65 years ago, sees the traditional archetypal fairy-tale remain very much intact.

Sweet natured Cinders is tormented by her deplorable step sisters – the fairy-tale counterparts of Beatrice and Eugene. But she remains unapologetically girlish and gentle. Unlike the macho women we are now accustomed to seeing on screen, her strength lies in her genuinely sweet nature and she is rewarded for patience, not pushiness.

Despite having said in interview that it was important to make Cinderella a “more pro-active, more 21st Century character”, Branagh laregely refuses to pander to the expectation that fairy-tale princesses should encapsulate the modern day power woman – he instead retreats back to a world of puffy blue dresses, courtship and dances.

(The dress is, in reality, quite regretabley reminiscent of something likely to be worn on channel 4’s hit series My Big fat Gypsy Wedding – but is the stuff of childhood fantasy.)

A bold feminist statement it is not, but this adaptation takes the much loved fairy-tale from it’s tired traditional format, and transforms it into a decadent visual delight.

 

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