Film Review: Cinderella

Camilla Cabello stars in Amazon’s retake on the fairytale Cinderella, a modern re-tale of the classic with a star studded cast.

Ella, or Cinderella (Camilla Cabello) as her step sisters and step mother call her, is a girl ahead of her time, as she aspires to open her own business selling the dresses she makes. Whilst in the castle, there is the rebellious Prince Robert who wishes to marry for love, against his fathers wishes.

Wanting to break away from his life, he decides to one day dress up as a ‘commoner’ to discover what he is missing out beyond the palace walls. Whilst in the market square, he meets Cinderella as she tries to sell a dress she has made. As they meet, she reveals her dreams and in support, he purchases her dress off her. As well as this, he invites her to the palace ball where he says there will be many rich folk there who could give her the opportunity she is looking for. What she is unaware of though that he is the prince.

As the tale goes, she of course creates her own dress but her evil step mother (Idina Menzel) puts a stop to it. As Cinderella sings out her pain, the fabulous fairygod parent  turns up (played by Billy Porter) and well you know the story, bipidee bopodee boo, she gets a glow up and of course her glass slippers.

With many twists along the way, we see this modern twist on the fairytale classic.

I’m a sucker for princesses and fairytales, so it was almost guaranteed I was going to enjoy this film. The star studded cast included a lot of familiar faces, and I applaud the cast choice as all complimented each other very well, with some standing out. There is of course our female lead, as we see Cabello take on one of her first acting roles as Cinderella.

Her musical ability was never to be undermined and of course her beautiful vocals shone through in the random but joyful soundtrack. She brought a comedic yet thoughtful role to her character, and she clearly presented as the forward thinking Cinderella in this modern tale as she picks herself and her career over love (perhaps a vivid resemblance to Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice).

There were many other main characters I enjoyed seeing on screen, Idina Menzel as her step mother was a great addition to see, as she brought a more emotional side to the step mother we never see in past remakes. Then we have Piers Bronson as King Rowan, and what makes me laugh about his part is how versatile he is as a actor as he can go from being 007 to singing in this musical. However a minor character I loved seeing was Doc Brown as the town crier. His rapping brought the upbeat vibe to the film.

Image credit: Amazon Advisor

The soundtrack I knew was going to intertwine well-known songs. On the surface, the selection is random but it works very well, and brings a new layer to the film that made it a more fun watch. You have the more meaningful and romantic scenes as we see the Prince and Cinderella dance to Ed Sheerans ‘Perfect’ at the ball. Then we have the funnier  scenes where Princesses fond of the Prince (and his hand in marriage) dance and sing to Salt-N-Peppa’s ‘Whatta Man’. An interesting choice of song that did stand out as well was Nico & Vinz’s ‘Am I Wrong’ as it flashed me back to my past summer years..

The feminist thoughts and views intertwined in the plot were not only in our female protagonist Cinderella, but there were elements shown through the Prince’s sister Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive), as she wishes to be the ruler and bring change to this backwards kingdom. However, there were elements of the feminist supporting views in Prince Robert himself, something director Kay Cannon brought into the plot well. Although when he first declares his love to Cinderella he explains how she would not be able to carry out her dream of owning a dress shop, other scenes stand out such as where they first meet that he supports her dreams, and disagrees with the customs of the society they live in where women cannot own a business.

There is not much I can fault with this film, but if there was to be something it would perhaps be the level of cringe but it was not on the level I didn’t enjoy it. It was a cringe I loved and would not stop me from watching the film again.

Kay Cannon has done well in what I worked out is a sixth retake on Cinderella, with not only the cast, but the soundtrack and the feminist thoughts and approaches intertwined within the plot.

Cinderella is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

By Katie Green

Feature image credit: The Streamable

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