Released on Amazon Prime 3rd September 2021
Just like 2019’s Aladdin which updated the old story by giving it a feminist touch through Naomi Scott’s character, here too director Cannon brings in certain freshness; to the often told story. The new aspect being the aspirations of the protagonist Ella played by Cabello. Ella is looking to become a dressmaker and love is not something that she is looking at. Apart from the Ella’s character the feministic streak can be seen in the Prince’s sister one too. The climax gives a pleasant surprise which for obvious reasons cannot be revealed here. There have been many adoptions of the fairy tale but since I haven’t seen all the focus here is purely on this one.
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The story of Cindrella 2021 is set in a tiny village that is very much old fashioned and doesn’t allow womenfolk to be in business. As Ella chases her dreams of becoming a dressmaker her path crosses with that of Prince Nobert (Nicholas Galitzine). Prince Nobert is struggling with his own problems, in his case it is not knowing whether he wants to become the future king or not.
The smartest about this movie is how the director uses the musical element to turn the fairy tale into a jukebox material. There are a barrage of songs for every situation, sometimes it gets tiring but there are still wonderful to watch thanks to the cinematographer Henry Braham for how he pictuarizes them. The dances are also quite good to watch. It also helps all the actors seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves; these include not just the leads.
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Another big strength of this musical is how Cannon portrays the aspirations of Ella. It has been done in such a way that many girls will be able to connect with it. Cabello is throughouly charming and makes you root for her.
The love story with the prince feels hurried but it has got its share of moments. My favourite scene of the leads is when Prince Nobert opens up about his insecurities and says that he wanted to be a king during his childhood but now he isn’t too sure.
Another striking character is that of the sister (Tallulah Grieve). She is someone who has more of an inclination to ascend the throne however there is an impediment which is being born as a girl. Her scenes are less but they still make an impact.
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Given that it is a fairy tale it is given that the issues would be sorted without much fuss. Here too the villager’s attitude changes so fast that you wonder why they weren’t solved years ago. But this is a kind of a film where you have to go with the flow.