Trap For Cinderella (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/07/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Trap for Cinderella is an engaging, well acted and enjoyably twisty amnesiac thriller that admittedly falls apart under close scrutiny but is a moderate amount of fun providing you don't take it too seriously.

What's it all about?
Directed by Iain Softley (Backbeat) and adapted (by Softley) from the 1962 novel by Sebastien Japrisot, Trap for Cinderella begins with a fiery explosion in a country house, after which an amnesiac young woman (Tuppence Middleton) wakes up in a hospital following plastic surgery and is told that her name is Michelle Dean, or 'Micky' for short. Her identity seemingly confirmed by her guardian Julia (Kerry Fox) and her boyfriend Jake (Aneurin Barnard), Micky is devastated to discover that she had a childhood friend, Domenica (Alexandra Roach) who died in the fire, prompting her to try and uncover the truth behind her accident. But is she really who everyone says she is?

The Good
If you squint a bit, Trap for Cinderella plays like a British mash-up of classic trashy 90s US thrillers Wild Things (frequent nudity, multiple twists), Single White Female (girl obsessed with her friend) and Shattered (plastic surgery amnesiac in search of true identity). As such, it delivers nicely on the associated pleasures of each of the above films, largely thanks to director Softley's skilful handling of the various twists and reveals.

Rising star Tuppence Middleton is excellent in the dual roles of amnesiac Micky and flashback Micky – there are several intriguing layers to her performance and, to her credit, she makes them all work. Alexandra Roach is equally good as Domenica ('Do', for short) and does a good job of conveying her obsession with Micky without going over the top. There's also solid support from Kerry Fox, though both Aneurin Barnard and Frances de la Tour (as Micky's wealthy aunt Elinor) are sadly underused.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is that it completely collapses under even the tiniest amount of scrutiny; for one thing, the central twist (without giving anything away) is completely unbelievable on a number of different levels, but on top of that, the script fails to adequately explain the characters' motivations in the first place, so the entire plot makes no sense at all.

Worth seeing?
That said, Trap for Cinderella is enjoyable enough on its own terms, providing you're prepared to go along with it; it's not quite in 'so bad it's good' territory, but it's definitely watchable if like this sort of thing (Personally, I'm a sucker for an amnesiac thriller, as this rating reflects).

Film Trailer

Trap For Cinderella (15)
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Content updated: 12/12/2017 06:14

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