Cinderella 2021 review: When fairytale meets politics

Kay Cannon’s cut of fairytale-classic ‘Cinderella’ tries so hard to look cool.

Cinderella 2021 review: When fairytale meets politics

A tale as legendary as ‘Cinderella’ is not one to be messed with by modern remakes and politics.

It's a story about a poor girl who charms a prince in glass slippers, and they live happily ever after The End. But that’s the opposite narrative here.

This adaptation shatters the damsel in distress trope as Cinderella, played by singer and songwriter ‘Camilla Cabello’ exhibits traits and a personality that the 2001’s Disney main character lacked.

Some of these changes are commendable in the name of cultural evolution and representation. Still, the film tries so hard to look cool and appealing to a 2021 audience that it unconsciously drifts from the significant themes we all know a classic cinderella story is about.

The song performances and choreography not only forgets to tell a genuine rag to riches story. It’s like the songs and choreography were solely for performance and performance alone. It was as if Camilla Cabello was singing in a music video.

This adaptation does not offer an emotional rollercoaster ride because it has little or no genuine emotions to display.

The acting performance of Nicholas Galitine, Billy Porter who is the black gender-neutral fairy godmother and Frozen's Idina Menzel, is commendable. You can see the effort to put on a show worthy of a paycheck. But the conversational dialogue is so predictable, and the humour it is supposed to deliver is cringing.

What really throws me off about this film is the vague opening and its numerous plot holes. For example, there is no backstory regarding Cinderella's early childhood and how she came to live with her wicked stepmother.

Also, many things were inserted, whether simple punchlines are illogical. For example, how did Cinderella not recognize the prince when he tied a scarf around his head pretending to be a peasant? And why does he say ‘We live in an old fashioned kingdom? How unbelievable that sounds. It's supposed to be the late 1800’s; Yes, you are allowed to be old fashioned!

Another change worthy of praise is the personality makeover for cinderella. She is not just a housemaid in peasant clothes; she is the ambitious, driven woman striding in glass slippers, an exciting and inspiring narrative to the young audience this film aims to reach. That you can be anything and everything you dream of being regardless of societal doubts and stigma.

An enormous success has its cost. While Cinderella 2021 triumphs by shattering identity labels in the eyes of pop culture, this win comes at the expense of stripping this fairytale classic off its initial simplicity and innocence.

Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.


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