Traditional Cinderella story sheds light on the true meaning of kindness

Riley Hyatt, Reporter

As I stepped inside the theater the day after the revamped “Cinderella” was released, I knew I was in for an interesting experience. I swam through a pool of young girls dressed in frilly pink dresses who were accompanied by their mothers and fathers (who probably only attended for the popcorn and comfortable seats the movie theater provides.) The theater was buzzing. Grandparents followed their grandchildren up the stairs to the seats of their choosing and I sat behind two rows reserved for “Sophia’s Birthday Party.” Likely a fatal mistake since Sophia, and every other girl in the maxed out theater would be witnessing the ultimate princess fairytale. Cinderella and Prince Charming would soon come life right before their very eyes, and mine.

Lily James, as Cinderella, drove the theme “Have courage and be kind” throughout the whole film. Cinderella would remember her mother’s last words and they would be the reasoning behind all of her actions.

The story goes on as the original Disney film did. Cinderella’s mother dies, her father remarries, she has to deal with an unruly stepmother and two hideous step sisters, she slowly becomes their slave and is forced to work for them, she meets the prince, is forbidden to go to the ball by her stepmother, is saved by her fairy god mother, goes to the ball in a beautiful blue gown, dances with the prince at the ball, loses one of her glass slippers on the steps at midnight, blah blah blah the shoe fits, she forgives her evil stepmother and everything is right in the world. We all know the story and have likely seen it many times, but the modern twist on the Disney classic appealed to me and to parents of young children who were finally able to see a movie that wasn’t filled with profanities. I paid my part in the $70 million “Cinderella” grossed on its opening weekend in the US, and I’m proud of it.

It may sound cliche but Cinderella’s kindness and eternal hope for the future truly made me want to be a better person. It inspired me to not give up on people even if they seem hopeless. Just because someone is evil (in Cinderella’s case it was her stepmother) doesn’t mean they don’t deserve kindness. How you act towards another person reflects on your character, not that of the other person. Although “Cinderella” is still loved by Disney fans everywhere, Kenneth Branagh’s new “Cinderella” brings home lessons I never truly understood from the 1950 animated film.

If you dislike Disney princesses, I strongly suggest giving “Cinderella” one more try. James changed my mind and will likely change many others’ as well.