CINDERELLA doesn’t need a handsome prince to sweep her off her feet in Amazon’s musical retelling of a classic fable – and frankly, it’s about time.
It’s fair to say we haven’t been short on fairytale reboots in recent years, not least with Disney releasing live action adaptations of their most popular animated films.
Camila Cabello’s Ella has no interest in being a princess
Billy Porter’s Fab G is downright fabulous
However, this fresh, pop-tastic and unapologetically fun take on Cinders manages to stand out from the crowd with its decidedly modern message.
First and foremost, Camila Cabello brings humour, charm and of course, killer vocals to proceedings.
Turning the original narrative on its head, she dreams of opening her own business rather than enjoying a simple night of decadence at the palace – in fact, she only wants to go for a spot of networking.
Rather than playing a starry-eyed ingenue, Cabello cuts through Ella’s (yup, that’s part of the rebrand too) sweetness with wit and conviction often overlooked in classical princesses.
In fact, Ella has no interest in being a princess at all and – spoiler alert- it’s her dashing prince (Nicholas Galitzine) who decides to turn his life on its head to be with her and travel the world.
If you think this sounds on the sanctimonious side, rest assured that the film in no way comes across as a lecture, but rather one big party.
The soundtrack, filled with banging hits such as Let’s Get Loud and Material Girl, is heaps of fun and accompanied by some impressive large-scale choreography from the whopping cast of dancers and singers.
The film also does its supporting female leads justice – Idina Menzel’s step-mother Vivian is more pained and bitter than downright wicked, having long-surpressed her own passions in life, and this in turns allows for some growth by the end of the film.
Meanwhile Minnie Driver’s Queen Beatrice does a hilarious job of keeping her control freak husband King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) in check, learning to champion her own voice and that of her super smart daughter Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive).
That’s certainly not to say the chaps in the cast blend into the background – Billy Porter’s Fab G is five minutes of pure magic.
Elsewhere, Galitzine tempers traditional princely chivalry with moments of vulnerability as Prince Robert, while Brosnan manages to juggle playing both villain and jester as King.
All of this isn’t to say the film is without fault though – there’s a distinct lack of real peril compared to previous iterations of Cinderella, with step-sisters Anastasia (Maddie Baillio) and Drizella (Charlotte Spencer) reduced to comic relief rather than legitimate tormentors.
What’s more, the CGI doesn’t always quite hit the mark – we’ve a sneaking suspicion the three mice (James Corden, James Acaster and Romesh Ranganathan) were green-screened into scenes given their suspicious lack of interaction with their co-stars.
Honestly though, when you’re dealing with talking rodents and fantastical carriages conjured out of thin air, you kind of have to roll with the punches and suspend your disbelief.
Some people may feel like the feminism at the heart of film is ‘too woke’ for their tastes. Well, if a woman choosing her career over a lifetime of marriage and quiet compliance bothers you then this film is the least of your problems…
If you want a stellar soundtrack, unadulterated fun and a heroine fit for 2021, we say Cinderella will be right up your street.
Cinderella is available to stream now on Amazon’s Prime Video.
The Sun attended the London premiere at Everyman’s Broadgate Cinema sponsored by Häagen-Dazs.
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