What’s It All About?
The story is, but for a few details, the Cinderella story that we’re familiar with. Cinderella (here called Popelka and played by Libuse Safránková, who was also in Karel Kachyna’s The Little Mermaid, which I reviewed for this column a few months back) remains an orphaned girl, treated as a slave by her stepmother (Carola Braunbock) and stepsister (Daniela Hlavácová). There is still a royal ball, still a slipper that must fit the girl the Prince (Pavel Trávnícek) is going to marry but this version has no fairy Godmother, no Pumpkin coach and no ticking clock to midnight. Instead, Popelka wishes on magical hazelnuts and her wishes manifest as new clothes for each occasion. It is, essentially, a version with much of the Disneyfication stripped out.