AMAZING the new film Cinderella which hits the theatres Friday has a great message.
From THE HUNGER GAMES’ Katniss Everdeen and DIVERGENT’s Tris Prior, to BRAVE’s Merida and FROZEN’s Anna and Elsa, Hollywood heroines seem to be on the rise. The formerly favored “damsel in distress” archetype has been successfully usurped by current depictions of strong-willed, strong-armed, independent women who can fend for themselves. Then along comes Cinderella…again… The obvious question is hasn’t our culture grown out of princesses and happily ever after’s already?
If you watch the trailer for the new CINDERELLA movie, you will hear Cinderella’s mother tell her,
“I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer: Have courage, and be kind.”
Cinderella, as you know, was a young girl whose life was fraught with trials. She lost her mother at an early age. A year later, her father married a cruel woman with two equally nasty daughters of her own who forced Cinderella to be their servant. Each night after her chores, she would retire to a cold dank room and seek warmth from the fireplace, the cinders of which inspired her derisive nickname. When the Prince announced that he was hosting a ball in hopes of finding a wife there, Cinderella was left out, having been told by her stepsisters that maids were not invited. Despite the abuse, Cinderella continued to abide by her mother’s advice, which, in both the modern movie and the 18th-century story, was to be kind.
In this version of Cinderella, there was a decision to include Cinderella’s parents, Producer Allison Shearmur said, adding, “She is the way she is because she was loved as a child.” Branagh also said establishing a “family life [for Cinderella before her stepmother arrives] was important.”
Thus, when Cinderella is asked why she stays with her evil stepmother, even with the bad treatment she receives, Cinderella says she’s “keeping a promise to her mother” to stay and maintain the house they loved and be good and kind at everyone.
It was important for the filmmakers that they didn’t show Cinderella as the victim of her circumstances, but rather to have her see the world positively, for what it could be if only we strived to be good and kind. Branagh hopes that with a heroine who is good and kind, then “goodness can be reinvented.”
“Ken had a very clear point of view of what was important to him,” Shearmur added. “I remember the first time we met with him, he said, “Let’s make a story about kindness as a super power.’ When you think this is a guy who brought us THOR, you knew he understood the analogy he was making. In a time where female heroines, Katniss Everdeen in THE HUNGER GAMES and Tris in DIVERGENT, have a manifestation of their strength [that] is a lot more physical. . . this Cinderella in her self strength is internal.”
There is also a wonderful message of forgiveness in CINDERELLA that was very intentionally done by the filmmakers. Of course, such a message matches a Christian worldview.
Get the message around, encourage mothers to take their daughters to see Cinderella.