Review: Cinderella

DVD: Cinderella (2000)

There isn’t much of the traditional in Simply Media’s releases of Cinderella.

Zezolla (later named Cinderella…Marcella Plunkett) lives with her father (David Warner), who arrives home one day with a new wife, Claudette (Kathleen Turner) and her two daughters Goneril (Katrin Cartlidge) and Regan (Lucy Punch).

Right away you get the feeling that this is a modernist view of the old fairytale with some ‘King Lear’ in the mix. They live in a sort of ‘inbetween’ 1680 and 1940’s world (Queen Seraphina (Sharon Maughan) seems somewhat at odds in the fashion stakes with her enormous ruff and full blown Carolinian dress).  Prince Valiant  (Gideon Turner) is in a rock band and … there is no fairy Godmother, but rather Mab (Jane Birkin, Shakespeare again); a grumpy mermaid who lives in a cave.

The scenery is all green-screened hues of oddness, making the whole story have an off-kilter feel. It gave me the feeling of a wet winter Sunday afternoons viewing, in the lines of The Singing Ringing Tree and The Box of Delights. A bit disturbing.

The surprising thing is, it’s really enjoyable. I’m a purist when it comes to Cinders. I want glass slippers (not slippers made of petals), but watching Kathleen swish in her amazing 1940s suits, spouting barbs to a weak and obviously sexually obsessed David Warner in her husky voice was .. fab (not Mab).

More for BIG girls than little ones, a new and enjoyable twist on the Cinderella story.

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Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Simply Media.