From her first scenes, Cinderella played by Camilla Cabello makes it clear that she is different from any version of the character. Without any romantic interest, all your energy goes back to creating from scratch. And it’s that take on the great qualities of a classic character that gives the Amazon Prime Video movie its best moments.
Beyond giving a beloved story a modern luster, director Kay Cannon decided to make it more responsive. But also a lot deeper and smarter. The result is a fun film, with an overflowing personality and that touches on relevant issues with a discreet grace that surprises.
Canon’s Cinderella has an uncomfortable duty to compete with other more traditional versions. And without a doubt more dear. Especially with the most recent, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James, turned into an immediate success. But Cannon’s film accomplishes the seemingly impossible. The one with Camilla Cabello is a character full of energy and with a huge personality based on charisma.
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Where Lily James printed sweetness and fragility, Camilla gives you unusual strength. In addition, it makes the traditional figure of the abused young woman find another place in a story that runs through new places. The script (signed by Kay Cannon and James Corden) for Cinderella knows how to harness the actress’s charisma to achieve an energetic staging.
In fact, one of the great decisions of the film is that the actress is the center of an independent narrative. It is the classic Cinderella – and the plot makes it clear – but also a young woman far from the stereotype. The director gives Cabello the opportunity to be a star in a little common thread full of good intentions. With her ambitions, joy and enthusiasm, the actress’s “She” is a witty look at an old formula.
‘Cinderella’: more than music
The musical quality of the film does not detract from the way the cast enjoys a storyline full of original moments. In fact, the musical numbers and versions of great classics are a celebration of the spirit of the genre. There is great enthusiasm and great choreography in this plot that carefully avoids the cliché. In fact, one of the highest points in the movie is be fully self-aware of its quality as an adaptation.
The insistent mockery of the traditional line of fairy tales is missing. And the discussions of the prince played by Nicholas Galitzin with his father Pierce Brosnan are anthology. With the accent of a live choir, Father and son discuss love, the future, and the obligations of the crown. “Do you want me to fall in love with a woman overnight and live with her forever?”the prince complains.
Later, the notion about the reference to the great classics and how humor allows to transform them into something more than context is obvious. Cinderella is aware of her quality as a “woman out of her time” and her mother and stepsisters are not as cruel as one might expect. In fact, the change in focus in the relationship between the trio of women is one of the most striking elements of the film.
The rivalry, mistreatment and abuse are still there, but Cannon finds a clever way to tell a different story. Also the way Cinderella copes is entirely new. From tears and suffering to an unstoppable creative force, Cabello makes her Cinderella a hero rather than a victim.
Of course, the film takes advantage of its status as a musical hybrid with something closer to comedy to make risky decisions. The presence of Billy Potter shines like the Fairy Godmother of the occasion. It is a radiant presence that completes the total proposal of the film.
It is also a contemporary look at beauty. Dressed in one of his now iconic costumes, Potter charmingly embodies Cinderella’s power to dream. And when the transformation comes, the film reaches one of its most poignant moments.
And she lived happy and being herself, forever
Cinderella is not a tribute, nor does it claim to be. Actually, and as evidenced by the short but substantial cameo of the actress Minnie Driver as the Queen, it’s a proposal. The character stars in one of the key scenes of the film. Leaning over her husband’s throne, she touches the highest end of the golden chair. “When did you get taller, without consulting me?” He says. And it makes clear that, in this tale, women are more than victims or maidens eager for marriage.
For his last scene, the music is more than just a backdrop. It is also an amazing form of vitality. A look at a kind of storytelling for a generation of girls full of dreams, ambitions and a world to conquer. Between dances, jokes and smiles, Cinderella has the infallible instinct of great fairy tales to thrill.