It is 2021 and we are still telling the famous fairytale of ‘Cinderella’? The 2021 remake of the age-old fairytale is an uncalled effort and we aren’t much fan of it. This musical adaptation is an unwatchable mess and does not fit in the ‘Once upon a time’ era nor does it fit in the current era. It is pretty much a run down from then to now which is quite exhausting and leaves you gasping for air with disbelief.
And we haven’t yet started with the fact that how the movie vacillates as a remake, although the era, sets, and costumes remain the same, there’s a thin sophistication of female empowerment. Thus, instead of Ella (Camila Cabello) only wanting to escape her stepmother, Vivian’s (Idina Menzel) cruelty, she also longs to start a dressmaking business. However, this iteration does not entirely devote itself to her journey as a businesswoman but we still have to bring the prince, because why not. Consequently, the challenges to make Ella a contemporary figure displays as half-hearted.
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Is The Storyline Unique or Baseless?
Kay Cannon’s Cinderella is an aspiring businesswoman who rejects the prince for marriage to pursue a career as a dressmaker. Cannon wants to fit so much in the movie, from the age-old back story to the new-age ideals only to make it packed leaving no space for the audience to relish the movie and its new avatar. It certainly was going places with its twists but it is tragic the story never landed at its destination. This story has weathered through countless iterations over the years and we do need new fairytales for the kids today however Cannon’s Cinderella is not what we are looking for.
We all know the story: Once upon a time in a far-off kingdom, a beautiful young girl was bullied by her stepmother and stepsisters and is later saved by her Godmother who helps her get to the ball organized by the Royal Kingdom for the prince to find his ride. She then will meet the prince and fall in love and will be escaped from this evil-spawning family of hers. But Cannon’s Cinderella does not need a prince to save her but she would rather save herself. And the stepmother is a character
straight out of any Jane Austen novel who does not disdain her stepdaughter but rather tries to protect her from the patriarchal society by advising her to find a suitable boy. On paper, this story of Cinderella is surely a fairytale but under the hands of Cannon, it is simply a nightmare.
The latest manifestation of the Disney classic is an Amazon-distributed jukebox with familiar tunes which not only is devoid of any magical soulfulness but also is quite off-beat. This movie does not rationally adjust the music with the mood but senselessly uses pop songs and features characters that drop modern without logic. The town crier is a rapper in this reimagined piece and though in the wrong hands the stunt might feel tedious, Doc Brown has enough magnetism and talent to make his few scenes a genuine delight. However, when it comes to the main characters neither Cabello nor Nicholas could bring life to the characters they played but rather were stiff and humorless throughout. Cabello could also have used a good hairstylist evidently. Nevertheless, Cabello’s inexperience burdens Nicholas with carrying the romance for the two of them throughout the movie but to admit honestly the prince was as flat and uninteresting as Cinderella herself was.
Series of Unwanted Alterations
It is oddly unsettling to swallow all these alternations to the story for someone who grew up reading it as a bedtime story. However, it will be unfair to praise the effort to break through the stereotypes of society through a movie. The new Ella does not need a man to change her world, however, she just needed the man to invite her to the party to meet the new guests who could be her potential buyers or investors. However, realizes later that he likes her the way she is and isn’t looking for royal blood to marry and declares her love when he agrees to travel across the world with her in the quest of an entrepreneurial world.
Hypocrisy about feminism overflows in Cannon’s script, with speeches about self-love, social justice, and standing up to men in power. But the narrative undercuts these banalities. Cinderella’s success as a dressmaker comes because of her proximity to wealthy and rich people at the ball. Even Billy Porter (her fabulous Godmother” acknowledges that by declaring, “Rich people… will change your life!” He dresses her up with a gown so pretty that Cinderella designs herself and also insists she wears the uncomfortable high-heeled glass slippers, because “Women’s shoes are as they are. Even magic has its limits.” For a movie that promised a breakthrough from the patriarchal norms into an equal and feminist land, these double standards are a complete deal-breaker.
One of the subversions involves the aspiring ruler that is hidden within the Princess. She has a lot many ideas to bring to the table where she is not allowed to even sit because women are only supposed to be a queen to the king and not for her Kingdom. Nevertheless, she is seen speaking her mind now and then but only to be silenced. This however looks forced as it was quite evident, she always voiced out her ideas in the wrong moment. Cannon sure wanted to show us the cruelty of the patriarchal society but was it a justified one, well one can never be sure.
The Girlboss and the Pitch Perfect movie creator seem to have taken the two movies a step further ahead only to combine them and make it go wrong in all possible ways. The Cappella and women empowerment is undoubtedly the secret mantras of Cannon’s success but just because it makes sense from a career trajectory standpoint doesn’t mean one needs to e stuck inside the box.