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Trap for Cinderella


Stars: Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Roach, Aneurin Bernard, Kerry Fox, Frances de la Tour, Alex Jennings, Stanley Weber

Director: Iain Softley

Although the mystery thriller/character drama is one of my favourite types of film, I can't claim to have followed all of this one by a long chalk. It's always nice to have everything explained in a breathtaking flash in the last reel, but there are too many loose ends left dangling here, especially given the rather laborious exposition.

As we unravel flashbacks within flashbacks, it even remains tricky to pin down which of the two central characters is which at any given time.

Anyway, there's an explosion at a French château and a girl (Middleton, from TV's The Lady Vanishes) wakes in hospital after plastic surgery to be told she's Mickey and that her close friend Do (Roach) died in the fire.

Like a lot of things here, it takes some explaining, like why would she flee her apparently crazy aunt (Fox), let alone run straight into an old boyfriend, Jake (Bernard), whom she doesn't recognise but jumps straight into bed with. She overhears her aunt and Jake having an odd conversation on the phone about her 'not being ready', but then Jake disappears, and doesn't seem to be part of the subsequent plot, the rest of which would take pages to set down.

Suffice to say that all thriller fans will smell a rat when it's mentioned that Mickey is an heiress approaching her crucial 21st birthday.

The surviving girl may be Mickey or she may be Do, but, if she's Mickey, why does she sign a hotel register as Do? And what does Do's inability to swim have to do with it?

There are echoes of Single White Female, with the blurring of identities; but then the makers of that film may well have seen the French original of this, also called Trap for Cinderella (not that the title is especially relevant) and directed by André Cayatte as long ago as 1964.

Performances are competent, but the film, though given some style by its director, remains disappointingly unmemorable.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour by deluxe.
102 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 08 Jul 2013