I think it’s fair to say we were a select little crowd that attended Tuesday night’s showing of Trap For Cinderella – I’m not sure we quite made it to double figures. Maybe the rather lame reviews it has received were to blame; and indeed I wasn’t expecting an awful lot from the film as a result. But both Mrs Chrisparkle and I were pleasantly surprised. We found it a very engrossing, well-told psychological thriller, with many a winding plot turn before the final reel.
To reveal too much of the story would spoil it for you, so I’ll be careful. Micky and Do (who are both girls, you wouldn’t know that from just seeing their names written down) were childhood friends who used to play together on holiday in France. Many years later they meet up in London where they both are now working. But Micky can’t remember anything of their old friendship, as she suffered terrible injuries from a gas explosion accident in the interim period, which resulted in considerable plastic surgery and 100% memory loss. All she can do is piece together her life up until the accident by discovering diaries and other documentation. Do, whose affection for Micky borders heavily on the creepy side, moves in with her and their close friendship seems to be secure until it all starts to unravel. And anything more I say will ruin it!
Micky is played by Tuppence Middleton, and she gives a great performance. She’s charismatic, enigmatic and very believable as both the girl who has completely lost her identity due to her accident, and as the lively outgoing arty girl with whom everyone wants to be friends. Alexandra Roach is superb as the rather unhinged Do, ebullient in the satisfaction of being best friends with Micky, and seemingly capable of any retribution when thwarted. Their on-screen partnership is really effective and the occasional hint of their relationship getting a little steamy is tastefully and subtly done. There’s also a very strong and slightly spooky performance by Kerry Fox as Julia, Micky’s aunt’s PA who has acted in loco parentis, but might not be as trustworthy as she seems. There’s classy support from Frances de la Tour and Alex Jennings too.
It’s adapted from a 1963 French novel by Sébastien Japrisot and is directed by Iain Softley. It’s a very atmospheric and stylish film, with a tight script, strong performances, and some moments of great suspense. It’s also a very attractive picture to watch, with wide sweeping views and a nice attention to detail with its French locations. The story resolves itself in a very satisfactory way – sufficiently intriguing to keep your attention all the way through, all loose ends are tied up and you even get a sense of justice at the end. There may be a question mark over some of the motivation for what happens, but in a sense that only serves to keep you guessing and talking about it on the way home. I don’t think it deserves its poor reviews, and you should give it a try!