We all know and love the original story of Cinderella. With a wicked stepmother and two jealous stepsisters, Cinderella stands no chance of attending the royal ball. That is until her fairy godmother appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true. Her one condition is that the spell wears off at midnight.
Over the years, there have been countless remakes and reimagines of Cinderella, each one becoming bolder and bolder in its retelling. Well, this new retelling might just be the boldest of them all.
The 2021 reimagining of Cinderella shows the story in the same traditional setting, but with a modern narrative twist. The Amazon Prime Original features star-studded voices, Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, and Pierce Brosnan.
The film is the first major live-action remake of the story to be made since Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 live-action flick starring Lily James and Richard Madden as Cinderella and Prince Charming.
What Makes This Retelling Different?
This retelling has a few departures from the other version of the original movie. One notable change is that Cinderella’s fairy godmother is genderless and the character is played by a cis-male actor, Billy Porter. Porter’s character goes be Fab Godmother as opposed to the Fairy Godmother we’ve seen in other versions.
Another key difference within this adaptation is that Cinderella cannot actually understand the mice. Only the audience can understand the mice voiced by British comedians James Corden, James Acaster, and Romesh Ranganathan.
Watched the new Cinderella film out of curiosity. It could've been better, had we not had to see this monster.. 😬 pic.twitter.com/tGnqzxd55E
— The Golden God (@Zeppelinlover1) September 3, 2021
And the most dramatic change that isn’t at all seen in any other version of Cinderella is the way the wicked stepmother is portrayed.
Vivian, played by Idina Menzel, is presented less like an evil stepmother and villain, and more like a conservative parent who disagrees with their child’s progressive ideas.
In this new modern movie musical, our ambitious heroine (Cabello) has big dreams of opening her own dress shop and with the help of her Fab Godmother (Porter) and the magic of love, she perseveres to make them come true. The audience, however, didn’t find this movie to be all that magical.
The Jukebox Musical Element:
The 2021 reimagining of Cinderella features a mixture of popular songs throughout the decade and original ones that are written specifically for the movie. The original songs featured in the movie are “Million to One” by Camila Cabello, Ben Bailey Smith’s songs, “The New Barry,” “Shot at the Crown,” and “Shoe Made of Glass,” and “Dream Girl” by Idina Menzel.
Surprisingly, fans didn’t have a problem with the original songs, but the covers of the popular songs definitely got the meme treatment.
Some pre-released music that was covered was “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson, ”You Gotta Be” by Des’ree, “Somebody to Love” by Queen, “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz, “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa ft. En Vogue, ”Seven Army Nation” by White Stripes, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, and “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez.
The 2021 adaptation of Cinderella is far from perfect, but it’s still a lot of fun. Is the music good? Not really. Is the acting good? Sometimes. Is it strange that James Corden randomly appears in every film adaptation of a musical made in the 21st century? Definitely. But is it worth a watch? I’ll leave that up to you.