by Devina Gunawan
Watching Cinderella as a young woman was, I’m not sure how to say this in a nice way, a mistake.
When Cinderella was living in my imagination as a cartoon figure, all was well. I knew that she was a drawing made alive.
However, Lily James as a human being with tears that really, unfortunately, made me sad when I saw them…
Why, God, why?
Why can’t I have my own personal Richard Madden?
Now let me get one thing clear, before I start writing my review.
Richard Madden was just another guy on TV (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones) until I saw him as Prince Kit in Cinderella. He was just another pretty face, but “Cinderella” really has magic on its casts, that for once in my life I have found myself very much attracted to a man on the big screen, and that man is someone whose face I see a lot on Game of Thrones: Richard Madden.
…and I had thought I’d never find him attractive.
So Ella is a beautiful girl living with her beautiful parents. They live happily, and Ella is raised to be kind and brave. She loves talking to animals, and her mother tells her to believe in everything.
One day, without warning, her mother falls ill and soon after dies.
But not before telling Ella the very important secret in life: “Have courage and be kind.”
Ella takes it to heart, and she repeats it to herself whenever she can.
Years after, Ella has grown into a beautiful young woman. Her father remarries high cheekbones with two sets of blush-on and mascara. Seriously, the make-up has no mercy on the step mother and her daughters.
The stepmother is a party girl who throws parties and spies on her new husband whenever she can. She makes it so hard to hate her character. Later on, Ella’s father departs for another work trip and leaves Ella with the devils. It is a great scene when Ella cries and addresses the devil, “Stepmother,” to which the devil responds, “Madame.”
Lucifer and the Lucifer’s angels start taking advantage. Knowing that Ella is pure and kind, they send her to stay in the attic and make her another maid in the house.
Months after, the news of the father’s death arrives and the household is dismissed for economic purposes. Ella becomes the only maid in the house, and the step mother continues glowing in her misery of being a widow. Ella has to sleep by the fireplace because it gets cold in the attic at night, and she wakes up with ashes on her face.
Ella prepares breakfast for the family only to have Madame tell her that she has no place in the dining room. The two step sisters start mocking her, calling her “Cinder-Ella.”
Ella is hurt and angry, but she walks to the kitchen and cries instead of yelling at the devils. She then decides to ride her horse and go to the forest, where…
Richard Madden appears! Ta-daah! The prince and his guards are hunting, and he spots Ella. He follows her to ask if she is alright, and then they start talking.
The prince is clearly smitten, and so is Ella. He tells her that he’s an apprentice and his name is “Kit.” Or at least, that’s what his father calls him.
This is when I had to take deep breaths during the movie. What a beautiful man.
Afterwards, Kit tells his father the king about his mystery girl. The king isn’t too pleased about it, because princes are only allowed to marry princesses. It takes so much effort! The royal painter has to paint a masterpiece of Kit, in an awkward pose, on a canvas that can cover a room. And that painting will be delivered to other kingdoms so their princesses can see how “marry-able” Kit is. There will be a ball where the princesses are invited, and Kit will have to choose his bride.
Kit, being a smart tight-ass that he is, convinces his father that the ball has to be for the people, that every eligible maiden has to be invited. Fair and square.
Ella hears the announcement of the ball during her shopping time at the market. She is excited because, she wants to see Kit the apprentice again. Then she goes home to tell Lucifer’s angels, who forbid her from going to the ball because she doesn’t have a dress.
Not giving up, Ella sews her mother’s old dress for the ball. Then, we all know that the night of the ball, Madame and the two step sisters ruin her dress and leave her home.
Ella cries, and runs to the garden. There, a creepy old woman asks her for bread or milk, and Ella gives her milk. Turns out, it’s Bellatrix Lestrange! I mean….Fairy Godmother.
I had a hard time deciding whether I should be happy or scared for Ella when Bellatrix-Godmother got her wand. WAND! What would come after? Bibbidi-bobbidi-Avada-Kedavra?
So Bellatrix is nice. Godmother, I mean. She turns a pumpkin into a carriage, the mice into four horses, the goose and lizards into men. Then, she makes the best decision by turning Ella’s sad dress into the most beautiful blue dress I’d ever seen in my life (I’m sorry, Elsa).
Then she gives Ella the glass slippers. So pretty… I want a pair.
Before Ella leaves, she reminds the girl that the magic will only last until midnight.
So Ella goes, and we are set to see some of the prettiest scenes.
Let’s see the Palace. Kit and the king are sitting at the balcony of the ballroom, looking at every single guest to see who wears it better? Names are recorded, and everyone gets the privilege of standing pretty while having her name read out loud. “Lady Tremaine and her daughters.” That’s it. Madame, and her daughters, Anastasia, and Drizella have arrived.
Kit keeps searching for his mystery girl, and his father can tell. Meanwhile, Ella arrives and feels nervous. “Have courage” must have been written in the sky, and she dances her way to the ballroom. Now, being the last to arrive, and the only one who has no idea what’s going on, Ella steps into the ballroom like a lost child. Nobody asks her for her name because, nobody expected anymore guest. She walks down the stairs; all eyes are upon her, and Kit rushes to meet his mystery girl.
“Mr. Kit,” Ella greets him. And they dance!
Then when everyone is dancing, Kit drags Ella away from the crowd to tour the castle. She figures that he’s the prince, but it’s all cool. They walk around and Kit shows her his secret garden.
Sadly, midnight is coming. Ella leaves Kit right after he asks her for her name, not even dropping the two syllabi “Ella.” It is such a short name it drives me crazy how she never tells him!
Kit runs after her, and Ella runs for her pumpkin. On the way out, she runs into the king and tells him that, “Your son loves you very much.”
She loses a shoe on the steps of the palace, and the pumpkin takes off.
The next day, the sisters talk about the ball and Ella is smiling from ear to ear. Madame, the only smart one in her family, realizes that Ella must have been the mysterious princess at the ball.
The king, on his deathbed, tells his son to marry for love. To find the girl who’s so forgetful she forgets her slipper. So Kit starts the search. Unfortunately, the Grand Duke has promised a kingdom to have their princess married to Kit. So the Grand Duke will do anything to stop Kit from finding Ella.
Madame confronts Ella and breaks her glass slipper. She then locks her step daughter in the attic. The smart widow visits the Grand Duke, whose plans she accidentally overheard during the ball, and tells him that they can work together. What’s in it for her? She wants to be duchess and her daughters married to rich noblemen.
So Kit sends his men to look for Ella. Every woman, young and old, has tried the slipper. However, the magic of the slipper rejects everyone.
Then the men start marching towards Ella’s house. It is the last house to visit, and they’re hopeful. The Grand Duke knows that it is Lady Tremaine’s house and he isn’t worried.
So we reach the house. The step sisters can’t fit in the slipper, and poor Ella is stuck in the attic. She’s really bored, and so she starts singing. Luckily, her mice know how to open a window and let Ella’s beautiful voice echo around the house.
When the Grand Duke tells the men that they’re done, Ella’s voice cuts through. Then Kit, who has been with them the whole time, reveals himself and asks to see Ella.
So Ella and Kit meet again. It’s so lovely, so beautiful. Kit holds the glass slipper as Ella slips her foot in… OH MY GOD IT FITS.
My heart, at this point, was about to explode. I love movies that make me forget that there is life outside the movie theater, and this is one of those movies.
Ella’s step sisters rush towards her to apologize, and Ella says to Madame, “I forgive you.” Unfortunately for another kingdom, the Grand Duke, Lady Tremaine, and her daughters are sent away there and never to return again.
Then the wedding takes place and they live happily ever after.
“This was a mistake.” My sister, who was sitting next to me the whole time, said.
Yeah, I knew exactly what she meant. Now, how am I supposed to get Richard Madden out of my head? It took me two weeks to forget Eugene from Tangled, and he was cartoon!
Dear Disney, you took my life away for 113 minutes and that was amazing. If Cinderella had until midnight, you gave us 113 minutes before our dreams crashed and burned the moment we realized that we weren’t living a Cinderella tale.