Classic stories and fairy tales continue to circulate in content, whether that’s because recognizable names are easier to sell, or perhaps because those old tales still have some life in their lessons. Often times, these centuries-old stories work best when the period is fully updated (eg, “Clueless” by Amy Heckerling) or modern lessons are subversive subsumed into the traditional customs and practices of the Archaic era ( for example, “Emma” from Autumn de Wilde). However, the new musical “Cinderella”, starring pop sensation Camila Cabello and written and directed by Kay Cannon, tries to play both ways, combining contemporary post-feminist principles with anachronistic slang and pop songs. to ball gowns and Renaissance social norms. Europe era.
It’s a cute idea that has already been realized, most notably in the 2001 film “A Knight’s Tale”, starring Heath Ledger. But here, it’s a bit awkward, and forced. Cabello’s Cendrillon is a great dreamer with entrepreneurial ambitions. Confined to the basement with her talking mice, she draws fashion models and sews ball gowns in hopes of someday selling her dresses and becoming a businesswoman (do retail markets even exist in this village ?). The intention is to avoid a Cinderella whose entire fate depends on marriage to a wealthy prince, so instead they have made her a con artist of bosses, whose values clash with those of her wicked step-in-law. mother Vivian (Idina Menzel) and her stepsisters. (Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer) who want to get married for money.
It’s a choice that may have landed a bit more poise a few years ago, but in 2021 it’s a tired trope. In fact, tropes and archetypes are the lifeblood of this film, barely sketched characters whose development seems to have been dumped for endless belts. In musical theater, the characters put their inner feelings into the song, but these characters mostly sing pop tunes that have been retro-designed into the plot, expressing sort of vague platitudes and assertions like ‘you gotta be’, ‘ what, man? “” Material Girl “,” Let’s get loud “, etc. There are a few original Cabello and Menzel songs that fill things up a bit, but their feelings only scratch the surface.
This is Cabello’s first film, and although she is a skilled singer and performer, her acting is overly cute, a bit squeaky and creepy, which does not allow her character to reach depth. . All of the main characters, including Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Robert, subscribe to this kind of “Disney Channel” acting style, which is sarcastic and flippant and inherently hypocritical.
With such a cast like this, it’s disappointing to feel like none of the supporting characters have much to do, existing as stereotypes or substitutes, spouting out winking feminist aphorisms, you become girlish feelings and therapeutic confessions on their motivation. It’s underwritten but overloaded with songs, and the production itself is chintzy and airless.
This “Cinderella” looks a lot like “Estate” to kids, with Ella trying to put on her dresses in front of angel investors and Robert resisting the power bestowed on her. On the contrary, it is a sharp reminder that getting married for the purpose of joining the property is not that far from entering into a contract with an investor. It’s cynical, because underneath it all, it’s always about the money, honey. With all the cheesy songs, dresses and jokes, kids under the age of 10 are probably going to love this, and frankly, that’s who it is for, not the millennials or the Gen Z kids who grew up with Brandy or Hillary Duff. In addition, they will learn the importance of having a solid business plan ready to be implemented as soon as the opportunity arises.
MPAA Rating: PG (for suggestive material and language)
Where to watch: Streaming Friday on Amazon Prime
© 2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.