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‘Cinderella’ – Do we really need another one?
Recreating the iconic princess story of Cinderella is not an original idea, but people seem to eat it up every time. From the most popular rendition of the Disney animated 1950 version ‘Cinderella’ to the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical ‘Cinderella’ featuring Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood in 1997. Hollywood has even taken a step further with the tale creating their own versions like Drew Barrymore’s ‘Ever After’ that focuses more on the before the royal life of Cinderella to modern takes starring Hilary Duff with a lost cellphone in ‘A Cinderella Story’. To say the least, this story has been turned inside out multiple times, so why do it again?
Hollywood sees the attraction of this story getting retold on repeat that will always have an active audience. The importance when remaking something is making sure that you bring something original and fresh to the old story. The Pitch Perfect director, Kay Cannon, brings new music, modern humor, and most importantly feminism to this version of ‘Cinderella’. With an absolute all-star cast that features Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan, and the iconic Billy Porter as the Godmother. This anticipated film overall came up short of its expectations, but it’s all about the perspective. This film knows that it wasn’t reinventing the wheel so the self-aware aspect makes it more appealing. Not taking this film too seriously is crucial to enjoying the film, have fun and enjoy the nostalgic feeling.
Pop Music Hits
The music choices for this film were very unexpected. With only one original song sung by pop star Cabello, the rest are popular hits that everyone knows. The original song titled “Million to One” had many reprisals throughout the film, but was accompanied by hits from Ed Sheeran, Madonna, and even Earth, Wind, and Fire. Though the original tune was moving and positive, there was a little bit of a want for more original music. Rather than writing music for the film, the song choices were used quite literally with the lyrics from the song. In the sense of ‘Mamma Mia’ using the Abba songs to write the story, ‘Cinderella’ chose pop songs that lyrically said how the characters were feeling rather than having room for metaphors. For example, the song “Somebody to Love” by Queen was sung by Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) because well he needed to find somebody to love.
The song choices were fun and wonderfully covered by the talented singers, but there was room for more than one original tune.
During the times of kings and queens, feminism wasn’t exactly a supported subject. This version of Cinderella pokes fun at the gender roles by making it sound ridiculous. Looking back at how life was and how women couldn’t run businesses or must only marry for money seems totally crazy. Though this is still a sad reality for some women in other countries, there is an overall consensus that it is wrong and should be changed. Cabello’s Cinderella has dreams of opening up a dress shop to sell her exquisite dresses to local townspeople. Instead of the want to marry the prince like the original versions, there are bigger dreams of success and being the breadmaker of her family. This dream is considered crazy because of course a woman can’t do that, but even though she has the support system of mice she still tries her best. This creates a wonderful example for young girls watching this film, knowing that they cannot just marry a person to find happiness. Having big dreams and believing in yourself is the best message that a fairytale can give to young people.
The King played by Brosnan is the classic portrayal of a power-hungry misogynist that is too blinded by being King and holding up his reputation. The bluntness of his character saying “because I’m King” points fun at how dumb his position is and how uncharismatic he is. The King wants Prince Robert to straighten up and find a bride before becoming King, even though the younger Princess is the smartest one of them all. She tries throughout the film to bring up serious subjects about how to fix the country but is immediately shut down each time. Though it can come across as rude and sexist, it at the same time shows how absurd men’s thought process was towards women.
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Comedy of the Times
One thing that the classic Cinderella fairytale has been missing is the element of comedy. Still taking place during the times of castles and princes, there is the perception that nobody joked or laughed. With only the entertainment of Shakespeare’s comedies, there seems to be a whole lot of seriousness only. Cannon was able to bring the comedy of the 21st century into this timeless classic. Bringing jokes in and comedic timing that wouldn’t work back in those days. All of the characters are funny and bring something different to the table. With comic relief being the main relief throughout the film, it lightens the fact that Cinderella is trapped in an abusive family dynamic.
Once again this is a film that isn’t reinventing the wheel so have fun with the corniness of the situation.
Amazon’s ‘Cinderella’ brings a freshness to the old fairytale that has been redone in film, TV, and even on stage multiple times. From having a male fairy Godmother to a dreaming businesswoman, it breaks the boundaries of the stereotypes of an old tale. Cabello is not the picture-perfect Cinderella with blonde hair and floating on and off-screen, she is a more realistic version that girls can relate to now. Though this will most likely not be the last remake of Cinderella, it will definitely be remembered for trying something different.
Where to watch:
‘Cinderella’ is available to stream on Amazon Prime here.
Actors: Camila Cabello, Minnie Driver, Idina Menzel, Pierce Brosnan, Billy Porter, Nicholas Galitzine
Directed by: Kay Cannon | Written by: Kay Cannon | Produced by: James Corden, Jonathan Kaden & Leo Pearlman
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.