Friday, 8 October 2010
Ever After (movie)
This movie is a very interesting retelling of Cinderella, setting the story in 16th century France, when Henry II is still a young prince.
I have to clarify something first. I absolutely adore this movie; I’ve seen it about twenty times (I’m not ashamed to admit) and it’s one of my favourite movies, too. The interesting thing is that the movie shows many historical inaccuracies that should repel a history buff like me. But the thing is, it is so cute, so adorable and romantic, and so beautifully made (to me) that even I could overlook all the historical flaws the first time I saw it.
The story of Cinderella works really well. The movie begins with the Grimm brothers visiting the Grande Dame of France, who loves their work, but questions their story about a little cinder girl. She tells them the story about the “real” Cinderella and the movie travels back in time to the 16th century. Auguste de Barbarac, a widower with a little daughter Danielle (our Cinderella) has recently married a baroness by the name of Rodmilla de Ghent, who has two daughters of her own: Marguerite and Jacqueline. When Auguste dies, Danielle becomes the servant of her stepmother and stepsisters. I have to say that I really like Danielle’s character. She is very noble and educated. Her most prized possession of Thomas Moore’s Utopia that her father gave her before he died. She is also brave and loves her land and its tenants, and tries to do whatever she can for them, despite her stepmother and Marguerite making it all very difficult for her. Then there is Prince Henry, a young man who hasn’t quite matured yet and is prone to running away from home whenever the King tells him he must marry a princess and get serious.
I love the differences between Henry’s and Danielle’s characters because one can tell they will complement each other well and they really do. It’s great that she doesn’t win him with her looks (although she is pretty and Henry notices that), but with her mind and her ability to speak freely and not recoil from him in awe or fear. He appreciates that a lot and she teaches him a great deal about life – and love. The only problem is that Danielle poses as her dead mother, Comtesse Nicole de Lancret (for a good reason), and deception never ends well.
Their love story really is very beautiful. As I’ve said, they truly complement each other. They are able to debate politics and philosophy, as well as more common matters. When Danielle’s deception is revealed at the royal ball, Henry turns his back on her, but none other than Leonardo da Vinci himself reasons with him and naturally, the story ends well.
But I won’t tell you everything. You should watch the movie instead.
I am not a fan of modern retellings of Cinderella, but this story really fit and was told very nicely; in an interesting, colourful way.
Posted by Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read at 10/08/2010