Director Kay Cannon makes her princess a career woman with dreams of making it big as a designer — with song, dance, and everything in between
Who doesn’t like comfort food? Once in a while, it is alright to indulge in fries, daal-chawal, samosa, biryani or rasam-rice. The security blanket offered by these familiar foods is its own reward. An un-deconstructed fairy tale is the best kind of comfort food. The Cinderella story of an ignored, ill-used girl hitting the jackpot, while the wicked get their just desserts, is as satisfying as an All Saints’ sugar doughnut.
Also Read | Get ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox. You can subscribe for free here
Disney’s live action Cinderella (2015) with Lily James as Cinderella, Cate Blanchett as the imperious stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother was directed by Kenneth Branagh and stuck to the broad outlines of the tale as does this one. Kay Cannon, who steers this latest version, has included song and dance and made Cinderella (Camila Cabello) a career woman with dreams of making it big as a designer.
- Director: Kay Cannon
- Cast: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter, Pierce Brosnan, Maddie Baillio, Charlotte Spencer, Tallulah Greive, James Acaster, James Corden, Romesh Ranganathan
- Story line: The eternal fairytale gets a millennial makeover
- Run time: 113 minutes
The songs, pop and rock hits and original songs are peppy. The cast is in step and most certainly having fun. After Mamma Mia, here is Pierce Brosnan singing again as stuffy King Rowan much to the amusement of his Queen (Minnie Driver). Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) would rather roam the world with his love than rule the kingdom, which his sister, Princess Gwen (Tallulah Greive), is anyway better suited to do. Fairy godmother has a gender swap and Billy Porter makes for a fantastic Fab G. Idina Menzel as Vivian, the mean Stepmother has her own tale of woe and original song, while the stepsisters Malvolia (Maddie Baillio) and Narissa (Charlotte Spencer) do not try too hard to be wicked.
The centrepiece of Cinderella is the ball, (the Ladybird book had a whole colour plate dedicated to Cinderella’s ball gown, which many little girls, including yours truly, pored over) and Cannon does not disappoint in her imagining. Cinderella goes to the ball in a dress she designs and manages to get a job with a powerful queen on the basis of it.
The slipper, which is the other part of the fairy tale, (in fact the folk tale is called ‘The Little Glass Slipper’) has a cameo in this retelling, even though Fab G ensures it is comfortable. This retelling of the Cinderella story cannot and should not be looked at as a serious, anthropological statement on patriarchy, inheritance laws, the status of women or succession.
It is a fun story of a girl who meets a boy and gets to travel the world with him doing her dream job. The universe is not going to begrudge us a little bit of fairy dust, right?
Cinderella is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video