|Crime, Drama, Thriller
Forthcoming Productions, Jonescompany Productions, IFC Midnight, Lipsync Productions
July 12th, 2013 (UK) / December 13th, 2013 (US)
Release length: 1:36:00
Trap for Cinderella follows Michelle “Micky” Dean (Tuppence Middleton), who lives through an explosion while visiting a dying family member. She wakes up in the hospital suffering from amnesia. Aunt Elinor (Frances de la Tour) is there for her, helping her through it. After bumping into an ex-boyfriend Jake (Aneurin Barnard), who is explained as her lawyer, she learns that her old friend Dominica “Do” Law (Alexandra Roach) didn’t survive the blast, prompting her to go to the old loft the two stayed in to find out more about herself and her old friend by going through diary entries and old letters to fill most of the movie with flashbacks.
The flashbacks serve to build up the relationship between Do and Micky. The two were good friends in their childhood until a divorce seperates the two. They bump into each other one day years later and become the best of friends once more. Do moves in with the wealthy and recognizable Mickey, who is sort of a wild child. As the film progresses, Do starts to fall for Micky, and her jealousy reveals a very cruel woman beneath the beauty. This jealousy comes out more in destructive means, such as dropping things on the floor or burning her fingers with the flame of a match. However, this darker side is matched by Aunt Elinor, who explains she worked for Micky’s mother and was to have her life originally. She’s held a grudge ever since, and uses it to manipulate Do into trying to kill her childhood friend who she blames for ruining Do’s parents marriage, and leading to her father’s suicide.
If you can’t tell, Trap for Cinderella is told largely through flashbacks. They make up most of the second act, while the first and third share the past with the present, and push Mickey’s drive to solve the amnesia. It’s really hard to talk about the film’s story without giving away too much and ruining the end. But, there is one thing worth addressing, and it’s the transitions between time periods. There really is no clear jumping on or off point other than the modern scenes are a bit darker. If you’re not paying attention when a shift hits, you can be absolutely lost. The first time Jake and Micky are kissing is during a club scene in the past, but Do’s reaction will have you second guessing if saw the scene between Mickey and Jake earlier correctly. The only time it’s obvious is when they’re kids, and there is a sepia filter used.
Another issue is the lack of similarity between the two. The main focus of this film relies more on confusion between Do and Mickey in modern time. By the end, a lot of this becomes unbelievable, and that’s due to the body types they both have. With one girl taller than the other, generally different body types, and notably longer legs on one than the other, you can figure things out. The only reason they become hard to seperate after Do starts trying to look like her later on is because of how one dimensional they both end up. Sure, Mickey has a more outgoing personality, while Do is more like a deer in headlights sometimes, but when these subtle traits aren’t being exploited, it can come off as if someone flip-flopped the girls names in the script.
The visuals and production, however, are top notch. The settings are all rather diverse, giving the film a sleek visual style, and once in a while a bit of a depressively gritty tone as Mickey struggles to find out who she really is. There’s a good deal of variety in the camera angles too, all while not changing every other second. This allows Trap for Cinderella to grow on its characters and story more than just throwing things at the viewer and treating him or her like an ADHD riddled child like it is common for bigger budget films of today.
Trap for Cinderella really takes its time to grow the relationship between Do and Mickey, but really neglects developing the characters as individuals. There is some filler to be found, but it seems more like padding to the depths of friendship than it does just to generally lengthen the film. This helps to keep the steady pace interesting enough to keep the viewer invested until the end. The biggest downfall ends up being the execution. The shifting between time periods is confusing and sudden at times, and the characters are as dynamic and memorable as the acting, which is rather basic. Frances de la Tour, however, does an exceptional job in her role, and ends up the only one who leaves a lasting impression once the credits role. Iain Softley’s adaptation of Trap for Cinderella more than likely isn’t as strong as the novel, but it gets just enough right to make it a film worth seeing.
|Overall Score: 6.5/10