The classic fairytale, Cinderella, has been retold too many times in the past, and now Kay Menon has put her new spin on it. The new Cinderella, 2021, is streaming on Amazon Prime, starring Camila Cabello as the titular character.
If I am honest, Cinderella is not a cinematic genius. By the end of the film, you feel that something doesn’t hit right, and while you cannot point out what exactly went wrong, you know the film did not live up to its potential.
So is it worth the watch?
I think yes because the film is made according to the current times, and this is the film you would like kids around you to watch. As kids, most of us do not realize everything wrong with Cinderella, but we start to notice how messed up the film is as grown-ups. By the end of the story, you learn as an adult that all they are saying is that if you are pretty and able to find a rich guy, then everything in your life will be right. It was never about Cinderella.
However, Kay Menon brings about some significant changes in her telling of Cinderella.
1. Cinderella Has Dreams:
None of the previous re-tellings of Cinderella ever spoke about her dreams. However, Menon’s Cinderella was her own person. She had dreams. She wanted to become a designer. She did not back down from challenges and wanted to take charge of her life. Also, throughout the film, she was called Ella and not Cinderella, the focus remaining on her actual name to remind the viewers that she is a lot more than just a girl who found her Prince Charming.
2. Prince Charming’s Story:
Menon changed the way we look at our Prince Charming here. Prince Robert was not shown as the perfect Prince who had everything figured out. Instead, he was flawed. He wanted to be a king, but at the same time, he did not. He felt trapped in a box, and thus, his character was given a certain depth.
3. Evil Stepmother Wasn’t Downright Evil:
Ella’s stepmother Vivian was not portrayed as someone who was just “evil” and spiteful of Ella for no reason. She was also given a back story. And honestly, once you get to know her story, you understand why Vivian was the way she was.
4. Prince Robert And Ella:
Prince Robert and Ella’s story was also written differently. At the start of the film, we are told that Ella had dreams, which stayed throughout. Ella loved Prince Robert, but when she had to choose between him and herself (her dreams), she picked herself and did not change her entire life plan for a man. On the other hand, Prince Robert wasn’t portrayed as a toxic man who just wanted to be a King and did not care about the woman he was in love with. He understood Ella’s decision to choose herself and was even willing to travel the world with her so that she could pursue her dream.
5. Princess Gwen:
Princess Gwen was my favourite part of the story. Princess Gwen is the younger sister of Prince Robert, who was shown as someone who wanted to lead the kingdom but wasn’t taken seriously. I liked her character because she had no training to be the future inheritor, her father did not take her seriously until the very end, and obviously, no one wanted her to take over, but she did not back down. From the very start of the film, we know Princess Gwen is the one who deserves to rule the kingdom.
6. Fabulous Godmother:
For me, the Fabulous Godmother is the best part of the film. The Godmother who helps Ella get to the ball was shown as a non-binary queer character played by Billy Porter. The film including a non-binary character in the retelling of a classic fairytale is something that will win your heart because, honestly, Billy Porter as Fabulous Godmother was excellent, and we needed more screen time with this fairy godmother.
7. The King And The Queen:
Another thing that Menon changed was Prince Robert’s parents, the King and Queen’s life. Menon’s decision not to give the King and Queen a perfect marriage made sense. They had their marital troubles and portrayed a more realistic picture of the King and Queen.
All in all, the film portrayed a more realistic picture of the world today and gave a very different ending to the story. And the film will help in making kids understand that there is more to life than just finding a Prince Charming or being a Prince. This is not the first retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella, and it won’t be the last one. More and more re-tellings will be made, and they should be if the story feels more relatable and real to people.
Also Read- 15 Rom-Coms That Would Not Work Today