Cinderella Movie Review

cinderella-movie-2015

Normally I don’t do movie reviews, but since the story of Cinderella is a classic, I couldn’t resist! I finally saw the Disney live-action adaptation this weekend with my mom and the one word I would use to describe it would be: magical.

The cinematography of the film is absolutely beautiful and I honestly felt like I had been transported to some of my most vivid imaginings of the story. The kingdom, the palace, the gardens, Ella’s house and surrounding area are simply breathtaking. It looks exactly like the story as you would have imagined it, all whimsical and magical, as a child.

Unlike other recent adaptations of the classic story, Kenneth Brannagh’s version doesn’t deviate from the Disney version, which is based on the Charles Perault version of the story.

Ella’s mother first leaves her, and then shortly after her father remarries, he leaves her too with her evil stepmother and insipid stepsisters. Ella endures hardship and struggle before finally meeting the Prince. They banter and naturally fall in love with each other after one meeting, even though Ella has no idea who he is. The ball is shortly announced and the Prince extends the invitations to the whole kingdom in hopes of meeting Ella again. Ella tries to go to the ball to meet the man she met in the meadow, but of course her stepmother won’t hear of it. Her fairy godmother remedies all, and the scene of her transforming the mice, lizards, and pumpkins is another magical one. Ella goes to the ball, finally discovers who the Prince is, and of course has to flee the ball. The Prince then searches far and wide for his princess, and eventually finds her and marries her. And of course they all live happily ever after.

The story is simply a retelling with no surprises or changes. The story is simple and so are the characters, with very little depth. They are merely the archetypes that they stand for: the poor orphaned girl, the prince, the evil stepmother, the fairy godmother etc. I would have liked a little more depth from the characters, especially Ella, in a modern adaptation, because Cinderella’s easy acceptance of her change of fortune always bugged me (I mean, how could anyone be so meek and passive?). But somehow, it still worked. The beauty of the movie is in its simplicity.

I also highly enjoyed seeing Cousin Rose and Daisy from Downton with their roles reversed! Daisy gets to lord it over Rose (aka Cinderella) as her evil stepsister. It made me proud of the Downton cast 😀

There are several whimsical touches sprinkled throughout the movie that make it enjoyable to watch. One such thing is Ella’s relationship with animals. I really liked how Brannagh gave them personalities without making them speak, and it was sweet to see the mice and birds all conspire to help Ella because of her kindness towards them.

The moral and tagline of the movie is “Have courage and be kind” and it was a sweet sentiment that ran throughout the movie. One especially powerful scene was at the end when Ella finally escapes the clutches of her evil stepmother and is free to live her life with her Prince. But before leaving, she turns around and says to her stepmother, “I forgive you.” I especially thought this was a powerful moment because so often we are told to get revenge and to give back what we got. But Ella is the bigger person. No matter what her stepmother did to her and the havoc she wrecked on her life, she forgives her before beginning the next chapter of her life. And I thought that was beautiful.

I’m not sure what it is about Cinderella that makes it so popular every few years as a remake, whether it’s in TV, books or movies, but there must be something there that makes it universal because it keeps coming back.

Whimsical and magical, Cinderella is a sweet and simple adaptation and that is sure to appeal to fairytale fans. It is sure to take you back to your childhood and remind you of a time that was simpler.

So for that: 4/5.

As much as I loved this live-adaptation by Disney, I’m even more excited for Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens (Matthew from Downton Abbey) as the Beast. Can 2017 come already?!

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Without You

The hole grows bigger
Grows into a cave
One that sucks all the light

They say it won’t last forever
That the hole will grow smaller
Will disappear once we’re together again

But right now all I know is this emptiness
This feeling of being incomplete
Without you

It starts off small
With a fleeting thought
That tugs on my heart strings

There are no memories of you here
This place has never known you
But still you are everywhere

Because the sky is smaller
The stars are darker
Without you

Mundane moments
Flash before my eyes
Moments that just passed me by

Driving along dark empty roads
With the ocean beating on the sides
With a sky full of stars and a car full of your scent

Each hour is a mountain to be climbed
Each day is an elephant to be wrestled
Without you

I remember seeing your face upon waking
Thinking that I’m dreaming
To be so lucky

Feeling your fingers laced through mine
Squeezing them
Never wanting to let go

I can’t breathe, can’t sleep, can’t eat
Simply can’t be
Without you

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Recipe: Coconut Dream Bars

Coconut Dream Bars

So you might have heard of these bars before. On the internet, they’re known as ‘Hello Dolly’ bars or ‘7 Layer Bars’. To me they were always just coconut bars, but I decided to give them a new name. Coconut Dream Bars. Why? Because they taste like a dream in your mouth.

These Coconut Dream Bars are another one of my recipe revamps. My previous posting of this recipe included messy pictures and a tale of my upcoming visit to Universal Studios/Disney World. Have a look if you want to reminisce with me.

Coconut Dream Bars

Whenever I think about baking these bars, I think it’s cheating. Because technically it’s not really baking. Okay, it is, because they do bake in the oven, but you hardly need to do anything. You simply open up the ingredients, layer ’em up, bake them, and devour the mostly divine, coconut-y, bars ever! It’s just too easy.

And what’s better is that you can change up these bars to your preference. Not a fan of nuts? Take them out! Have leftover candy sitting around the house? Toss it on top. Want dark chocolate instead? Add that. Want more coconut? Add some more! You can do whatever you please with these bars and they’ll still good. Why? Because it’ll all be sitting atop a luscious layer of sweetened condensed milk, which is too good to be true.

Coconut Dream Bars

So grab some graham cracker crumbs, a can of condensed milk, some coconut and bake up these bars! It’ll be so worth it. (more…)

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Review: The Girl on The Train

the girl on the train

Rachel takes the same train to work everyday. She watches one couple in their backyard, Jess and Jason, as she calls them. She imagines their fabulous life together, a life that is infinitely superior to hers.

But one day Rachel sees something she doesn’t expect. The next day, Megan aka Jess, goes missing and Rachel thinks she knows what happened.

She goes to the police with the information, and before she knows it, Rachel is tangled up in an investigation that somehow leads back to her.

(more…)

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Recipe: Sugar Cookies with Butter Icing

Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting

So 3 years ago, I posted my first recipe here. Back in those days, I was mostly blogging about books, writing, and other random things. I was just getting into baking blogs and discovering the art of sharing recipes online, when I decided to share this recipe online.

If you go back and look at the pictures of those Sugar Cookies, you might laugh. I certainly did. The pictures are atrocious. The writing is sloppy. The instructions are messy. With that being said, the cookies themselves are amazing.

Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting

Someone once described them as ‘cupcakes in cookie form’. The process can be a bit tedious, but the end result is delightful. These cookies are a classic and can be made any day. But whenever you do make them, they make that day special.

My brother recently got a DSLR camera so I decided I needed to make something special in order to test out his camera. And what better recipe than these cookies, the first recipe I ever posted on my blog, almost 3 years ago exactly?

Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting

This recipe was due for an update anyways, so I decided to give the cookies a makeover so you all could make them easily. Check it out! (more…)

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