Run Time: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Meet Ella, a young girl who lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters. Although on the poorer side, Ella has the opportunity to marry someone of status. However, her true passions lie in dressmaking. One day, when the King was making an announcement, Ella climbs upon a statue of a late king and meets the eyes of Robert. The next day, Ella is in the market space to sell her dress and is greeted by a stranger who pays for her dress and convinces her to go to the ball.
Cinderella has two main characters, Ella and Prince Robert. Ella is an ambitious young woman with dreams bigger than the roles she has been provided. Ella lives with her stepmother and two sisters who are less than kind. They follow the usual roles from every version of Cinderella ever. The only major difference is the sisters seem to feel occasional remorse for Ella. Prince Robert feels like he doesn’t quite belong among roles and has no interest in marrying for power. He wants to live his own life but doesn’t know how to break out of his mold.
Cinderella is a pretty mediocre movie, but it does a couple things really well. I thought the characters were really good, and the plot was solid. It followed its own path instead of retelling the traditional Cinderella tale. Our characters are quite unique too, and they are all fairly well written. There are some interesting character development moments, and a couple of characteristic shifts I didn’t see coming. My biggest issues with this movie come from some pretty fundamental decisions.
Firstly, I think naming this movie Cinderella was a little bit insane. While it follows that kind of a plot decently, it does a lot of its own things, which makes it a good movie but moves the goalposts. I came into this movie expecting one thing, and I got another. While it wasn’t bad, it certainly seemed worse than it was because it wasn’t the movie I thought I was going to get. A slight title change works wonders for this movie. The other thing is that we get almost 0 original tracks. The saving grace of musical fairy-tales is the songs. The catchy, slightly annoying, ORIGINAL songs. That is part of the reason why Disney movies do so darn well. You enjoy the movie, and 6 days later you are still humming a random song that played halfway through. I thought the music choices were really well done, but the total lack of original songs really drew away from this movie.
The unique character choices, like remorseful sisters, and the surprising plot changes were a high point for this movie. I loved the decision to move away from the traditional plot, but I would have loved it if it was framed a little bit differently from the get-go. A couple of new songs would have gone a long way, especially when Camila Cabello has an unbelievable voice.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
The highlight of this movie for me was the entire ball. It’s visually appealing, and the scenes are really important for our characters. I also liked the way it held some similarities to the original plot, but with its own twists. Having the prince being able to recognize Ella made things a lot simpler and created some more personal moments that were set up in the market.
This film was very average and it was exactly what was promised from the beginning. Now I have seen many adaptations of the Cinderella story and of course, each version has to make itself distinct when compared to the original tale or the Disney version but I found that some of this version’s changes were not my favourite. For starters, I did like most of the song choices used in the film and I think most of the musical scenes were entertaining though it would’ve been nice to hear an original song. However, there were some of the musical scenes that I felt were missing the energy and emotions which made them less interesting though overall the musical scenes weren’t too bad just underwhelming at times. The story itself had many changes to the classic version but honestly most of the updates I don’t mind because again this film had to make itself distinct. I did however not love some of the characterization choices that were made as there were characters like the stepmother Vivian as played by Idina Menzel who I felt was too sympathetic in this version and it was hard to hate her even though she is an antagonist and should not be liked. Also, the character of Prince Robert played by Nicholas Galitzine was not my favourite in the beginning and I found him annoying but he grew on me towards the end. The title character of Cinderella played by Camilla Cabello was actually really good and I enjoyed her performance. This is the first time I’ve seen her act and I think she did a great job and she was funny and of course, her singing moments were great. I would also like to give praise to the design of the kingdom as it felt familiar but also unique in terms of medieval lands. Honestly, I did enjoy a good part of this film and if they changed a few elements I think this could’ve been looked at as a top Cinderella adaptation.
All in all, this was an ok film that had some stand-out moments and songs but didn’t have the emotional impact or memorability of other versions.
I would still say check it out as there is enough to enjoy in this one.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
I felt my favourite scene was the ball and the dance to the song “Perfect” which I felt were well done. The atmosphere and design of the palace made it feel quite large with some scale and prestige to it.
This version of Cinderella was quite a disappointment. Compared to the original Disney version, this version featuring Camila Cabello was sad. The magic and the fun found in the animated version was not found in this modern retelling of the classic story.
The problem with this movie was that it didn’t have any of the magic the original story had. For One, this movie is set back in medieval times, but some of the actions and dialogue sound modern. Because of this, my immersion in this world broke. This mistake of mixing the modern with medieval also reflects the poor writing of this movie. The Disney version is a classic. Now, I’m not against changing some of the aspects of the movie to make it original, but this version didn’t have any feel of the original. Cinderella also took a few creative liberties that I didn’t enjoy. For one, the music in this movie wasn’t original or unique to this movie. By using pop songs, it just didn’t really feel right. The magic of this world was lost. I also didn’t enjoy the blatant themes thrown in the audience’s face. I’m all for empowerment and inclusion but making that part super explicit turns me away from the movie. The final thing I didn’t enjoy were the characters. In the original, the stepmother and stepsisters are characters that you should hate and for good reason. In this movie, however, they try to make the characters redeemable, and that just doesn’t feel right. It breaks away from what Cinderella was all about.
Overall, Cinderella was a meh to bad movie. The characters were disappointing, the song choice was disappointing, the plot was subpar, and the writing and dialogue were off. If you’ve seen the original, this definitely won’t add up to that.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was watching the mice become the footmen and experiencing life as human beings. It was a fun moment to watch them discover clapping and it gave the movie a much needed comedic break.