Cinderella: the modernized classic shouldn’t have been touched (again)

The new Amazon movie Cinderella brought high expectations to movie lovers. Directed by Pitch Perfect‘s Kay Cannon, with names like Camila Cabello, Billy Porter and Idina Menzel, a great musical was guaranteed.

Except it wasn’t delivered.

Cinderella – or Ella, as she’s called in this movie – is an orphan who lives with her stepmother and two sisters, just like in the original story. The time frame is also the same, everything happens before technology.

While the timeline is the same, modern-day issues such as women’s rights and environmentalism are threaded into the narrative.

After Ella’s dad dies, she is treated like a maid by his wife but there’s a twist. In this version, Ella has big dreams of becoming a dress designer, which adds a feminist touch to the movie because she has to fight for the right to work and have her own money.

At the beginning of the movie, women’s rights are discussed by Ella’s stepmother who wants her to get married and settle down. Ella still refuses to do so even when, later on, the prince asks to marry her.

There’s also the presence of Princess Gwen, sister of one of the main characters, Prince Robert, who uses most of her lines to speak about changes that should happen in the kingdom and to question her father about environmental impacts caused by his orders.

This movie is a musical so smooth transitions between songs and scenes, lyrics complement the context and amazing sound work, right?

Wrong.

That’s where the main disappointment takes place, especially with ex-girlband Fifth Harmony’s member Camila Cabello as the main actress.

Cabello’s vocals were forced, with horrible note changes and no context at all for the songs sung throughout the movie.

The movie version of ‘Am I Wrong,’ originally sang by Nico & Vinz instantly became a TikTok meme.

Cabello’s note changes and vocal runs negatively impact the scenes she sings in: scenes in plural, because ‘Am I Wrong’ isn’t the only bad version of a song – just the one that became viral.

Even for Idina Menzel, who is the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, the movie’s production did no good. ‘Am I Wrong’ really did take away all the shine from the singers. It was so wrong.

When it came to the actual scenes, the delivery of the script appears to be rushed by all actors. This is probably because of the singing scenes. A good example of this is the scene with the stepmother in Ella’s basement.

The day after the ball, Ella is sad because she ‘had’ to say no to marrying the prince to follow her dreams. The stepmother responds to Ella out of character but then quickly switches into her old self again after finding Ella’s glass shoe.

This entire scene is really short, happens without context and creates an emotion that is so quickly destroyed it makes you want to stop watching.

The fairy godmother, an iconic character from the original story, is modernized by the choice of actor: Billy Porter. This would have been amazing if it wasn’t extremely forced and uncomfortable.

Every imaginable stereotype involving homosexual men was reinforced in the movie. From “yas queen” to “baby” in every sentence, everything came across as an attempt of inclusion but was offensive.

Of course, the royal family had a lot of screen time. The prince just existed, barely, but his ‘Somebody to Love’ performance was good.

The princess was a representation of the Gen Z stereotype – worried about nature and social issues, viewed as annoying by Boomers, and having comments about literally any subject – but her inputs were light and fun.

The king and the queen mostly appear having marriage problems but sing the final song. It would have been better for the king and queen to just continue having issues and not have started singing ‘Let’s Get Loud,’ by Jennifer Lopez. This unfortunate version really tied up the mess together.

As progressive as this movie tried to be, it ends up looking like a bad musical written by a 13-year-old Gen Z person: good songs with bad interpretations, a script with bad jokes and way too many ironic remarks.

Cinderella just needs to be left alone.

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