Amazon’s Cinderella has a great cast, like Camila Cabello, and so much potential — but does it actually work and was it even necessary?
Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time, and there was just recently a live action version from Disney — so was this version a necessary release, even with Camila Cabella as the star? The short answer is no. Not only does it feel extremely familiar to the Disney version fans got 6 years ago, the autotuned vocals are distracting, and the trying to be edgy jokes just do not work.
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. Her evil stepmother and two stepsisters treat her as a slave and do everything they can to keep her from going to the ball, where she could meet the Prince and fall in love with him. Thanks to her fairy godmother she is able to go, but when the clock strikes midnight she needs to leave or her secrets will be exposed. She leaves behind a glass slipper, and the Prince scours the lands looking for the foot that fits in it. He does, and they live happily ever after.
This is not that version. It is a bit updated for the times, similar to the Disney version from 2015. There is an agenda here that, on paper, I agree with. Women being oppressed, and the push for people to be themselves, no matter what they are “supposed” to do in life. However, the way it is done is too much, if that makes sense. It feels like pandering, and overall does not work.
Something that does work however, is the integration of newer songs mixed into the film. Most of them are fun additions, and really add to the story. Unfortunately they are more or less the most entertaining part of Cinderella — and a significant fraction of them feel out of place.
Of course the extremely talented Idina Menzel, who plays Cinderella’s stepmother, is fantastic. She is a powerhouse, and the best performer in the cast. Despite the rest of the cast being talented on paper, they are far too autotuned in this movie and it is extremely distracting. The fact that these singers, like Camila Cabella, are talented and yet the choice was made to do this, is disappointing. And poor Camila, she just feels out of place for the majority of the film.
The dialogue and writing are also very distracting, as the majority of what are supposed to be jokes, just seem eyeroll worthy and ridiculous. They aren’t funny, and they don’t fit in a story about Cinderella. Some go a bit too far, like when the mice in human form discuss peeing out their “front tail”.
Speaking of the mice, the CGI in this movie is horrific. There is some bad CGI out there, but this might be the worst in recent memory. The mice look completely out of place, and ridiculous.
The dance numbers are hit or miss as well. They are on a massive scale for the most part, but the only standout was a singing and dance battle at the ball. That was fun, and bopping, but the rest of them seemed to be too much, or too bland — rarely finding their place.
Billy Porter is a lot of fun, and honestly this seemed like a decent casting choice when first announced — but his over the top portrayal of the fairy godmother falls flat. It just doesn’t work, mostly because of the writing. The dialogue spoken is cringe worthy most of the time, with the best line about how women’s shoes are uncomfortable, being ruined because it was included in the trailer.
Speaking of the members of the case that don’t work in Cinderella, James Corden is one of them. He plays one of the mice and while the other two are ok in their roles, he is just ridiculous. Another over the top performance from him that doesn’t work, no matter how hard he tries to make it. The moment where he turns back into a mouse is.. cringeworthy to the say the least.
To top it all off the movie is nearly two hours long, which is about thirty minutes longer than it needed to be. Certainly this was to add the whole story line of (Cinder)Ella being an aspiring dressmaker, and the Prince wanting to live life his way, not his father’s way. To make matters worse, one of the key moments at the end of the story, feels like it doesn’t fit at all.
In an effort to avoid spoilers, we won’t say what, but if you watch it, you will know. This person was in the background the entire film and while it was quite predictable where they would end up, it just doesn’t feel earned.
This version of Cinderella had such potential from the start with a talented cast like Camila Cabella, Pierce Brosnan, Idina Menzel, and Minnie Driver, but unfortunately it is too over the top, too poorly written, and far too long. The entire cast is autotuned to the point where it is obvious and distracting, and the addition of what should have been a great lesson, was far too pandering.
While there are some decent moments in here, they are, unfortunately, far overshadowed by the bad ones.
From Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect), Cinderella is a modern musical with a bold take on the story you grew up with. Our ambitious heroine (Camila Cabello) has big dreams and with the help of her Fab G, she perseveres to make them come true. Cinderella has an all-star cast including Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, James Corden, Nicholas Galitzine, Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.