With the latest production of the oldest folktale Cinderella, the trend of re-narrating our bedtime stories with modern touch might have just started. Promising a bold take on a classic tale and pop sensation Camilla Cabello's debut on the large screen, Cinderella successfully created a buzz before its release.
This Amazon Prime Video's production might do the magic trick if you are up for a stress-free weekend night without much to lose. But after giving away much of the gist in the trailer, Cinderella proves Fairy Godmother's words 'even magic has its limits' once again. Cinderella's sparkle barely makes it to the recommendation list of a cinephile.
Camila Cabello as Ella (Cinderella) does not identify as a forsaken clueless girl in the basement we are familiar with. Instead, Ella lives with a dream that certainly does not include a prince. Aligning with the most familiar take on any girl boss intriguing screenplay of today, Ella dreams of her own boutique.
While Camilla's performance as Ella is appreciated, the fantasized scenarios of 'dream' and 'struggle' present Ella's road to success more like a daily routine than a success story.
With the movie's theme, the character's lack of foundation to support the 21st century theme is what meets the eye the entire time.
But with every dream, there are many dreads. And in this case, Ella's stepmother is one of many. Though claimed as the villain, the stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel) certainly does not recognize that of classic Cinderella's.
With her character dynamics restructured, the modern-day villain looks at life through her own experience and is fairly sympathized in the movie. Presenting Vivian's perception with Madonna's original song 'Material girl', Cinderella leaves its antagonist with slightly more context and depth than the other characters.
Throughout the entire time, the movie tries to give enough incentive to change the audience's mind about the stepmother and the two stepsisters of Ella. Whereas the fairy godmother or 'Fab G', played by Billy Porter replicates the classic sparkle of the fairy godmother that we grew up believing in.
The memes of Fab G floating around on the internet proves the character gives moments to laugh. It could have worked out great but Fab G's dialogues in some places seem like a forced plea to cater to a millennial audience while completely missing out on the character's essence.
No matter how bossy we are, the fairytale cannot be completed without a prince, and in Ella's case, it is Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine).
From start to finish, the only job the king, Pierce Brosnan, assigns to the prince is finding a bride.
Thoroughly unmotivated in becoming the future king, the prince finds his motivation of true love in Ella.
Remember not including the prince in her dream? So, for Ella, the bride searching heist was a little less of an incentive to attend the ball.
But an invitation from the first customer of her dress who happens to be the disguised prince did the job easily.
The prince in the film does not play a savior to Ella but the attempt to make him a companion seems like a game of connecting dots heftily.
The movie's performance from a musical perspective did not entirely disappoint. Expected from the master behind Pitch Perfect, Kay Cannon's direction made Cinderella pass the bars of average musicals. With two original songs, one by Cabello and another by Menzel, the movie featured pop songs from artists throughout the decade. Janet Jackson, Madonna, Queen, Ed Sheeran to name a few.
The classic fairy tales and how adaptive their interpretations should be to cater to the new generation of audience have been in discussion for a long time. And Cinderella being the most popular fairy tale of all time makes a perfect mold for the adaptation experiment.
While the effort is always appreciated, the result is often not. The same goes for the 2021 version of Cinderella. With its talent studded casting, it has opened to an idea without laying the proper groundwork for it.
While trying to come up with a fresh look, the minds behind the movie somehow positioned the adaptation in a gray area that leaves too many questions on the plate.
A girl, a shoe, and a prince - Cinderella created the same circle all over again, only in a new timeline.