Many troubles plague cinderella, but its worst enemy is bad timing. This reboot might have been clever if it was released 20 years ago, but now it just comes off as annoying. Still, it’s 2021, and to stay up with youthful viewers, there has to be a little more flair and complexity in this cluttered and uninspiring story about the #girlboss.
In this adaptation of Cinderella, the protagonist (played by Camila Cabello) is portrayed as a career-oriented lady, a notable departure from the long-held representation of Cinderella as a passive woman. In her free time, Cinderella uses the cellar as a hideout and spends her time drawing dresses. She is a fan of the craft and, judging by many magazines and layouts scattered around her basement work area, she might be near to accomplishing her goal. While she knows there’s nothing better than a tall, dark, and handsome man, Cinderella is interested in more than just a boyfriend.
But even a great cast can’t help when the script is a mess. (Better) It lacks the charm and style that made 1997’s production of The Sound of Music enjoyable. In that film, a Black Cinderella married a Filipino prince and starred Brandy and Whitney Houston (Paolo Montalban). Cinderella’s feminism isn’t simple, to sum up. She’s clearly not choosing between her profession and a guy. And when Prince Charming asks how he should treat a woman, Cinderella offers a concise answer, telling him, “Like a person, with love and respect.” The new Cinderella movie is just unpleasant to watch; it’s painful to even in contrast to its overcooked screenplay and lackluster visuals.
“Rhythm Nation” and “You Gotta Be” are some of the songs in the musical film that begin with the townsfolk singing Janet Jackson and Desiree, respectively. Keith Harrison’s high-energy medley is a great choice, especially since it serves as a welcome break for viewers, showing them the path to follow. Your mood will change as you go through here: first, you’ll feel happy and motivated, then you’ll feel sad yet hopeful. The interesting songs and smart use of music are great (the soundtrack is certainly a success), but the songs fail to make this fantasy world understandable.
In this harsh society, where the brutality of the stepmother and stepsisters is only vaguely mentioned, the script has taken on the task of teaching young girls to look on the bright side of things. “You seem beautiful, but I believe it is a minor detail because no one else thinks that you are and no one else cares,” Cinderella sweetly tells one of her stepsisters as they admire herself in the mirror. “It’s how you feel about yourself that counts.” Cinderella, who appears to be a lowly servant girl, is working in the marketplace when she notices a strange gentleman who appears to be making fun of her while speaking with his friends. She approaches him and asks him if he thinks women should be allowed to run businesses in a bid to explain her embarrassment and make him see her in a different light. Angry Cinderella glares before saying with joy, “We ladies do all of the heavy liftings—birth babies, manage our households!” “How difficult can it be to operate a business?” It’s obvious that Cinderella understands how crazy it is, and moments like this are both winked at and cheered throughout the movie. However, jokes fail to find their mark without a steady narrative basis (since youngsters can tell if you’re cheating them).
In design aspects like costume design, for example, Cinderella falls flat. In trying to make out the long-term goal, it isn’t easy to see the whole view of the sets and costumes, which seem randomly grabbed and thrown together without considering how they would function in the narrative universe. Everything seems cheap and underwhelming, even to a trained eye. The palace employs a lot of velvet and gold, and the royal family wears rigid clothing that doesn’t allow for creativity. The exception is Prince’s sister Gwen (Tallulah Grieve), who wears lively clothes. Also, the citizens of the town wear understated clothing. Cinderella’s fairy godparent (played by Porter) rocks a structured diamond-studded orange piece matched only by the actor’s vibrant presence. It may be only wishful thinking, but hints of what could have been are everywhere. When Cinderella’s fairy godparent (played by Porter) rocks a structured diamond-studded orange piece that is matched only by the actor’s vibrant presence, you can see signs of what it might have been.
Although it has a notable cast and big-budget, Cinderella’s all-star lineup and very low-risk framework do not elevate the production, which is no better than the current standard of most modern reboots. Many people think of Disney as the source of great stories that can captivate young and old alike. But they forget that the best of Disney’s work all started with ancient fairy tales and their simple but powerful teachings about resilience, hope, and the power of creativity. It’s a shame that you would not be able to know from this version.