“Cinderella” (2021) Is Not a Fairytale

See the Official Trailer + Posters for "Cinderella" starring Camila Cabello  & Billy Porter | BellaNaija

“Cinderella” is the second live-action Cinderella movie we’ve gotten in just six years and stars Camila Cabello in the lead role. It was written & directed by Kay Cannon, the writer of “Pitch Perfect,” and is, according to Amazon Prime, “a modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairytale.”

“Bold” was the key word in that description. This film threw everything that makes a children’s film a children’s film out the window and instead chose to make a 2-hour-long YouTube music video full of political messaging. The most important statement I can make in my review is this: 2021’s “Cinderella” is not a fairytale, and it’s definitely not for children.

Cinderella (2021) - Plugged In

No child will like this movie, and instead will most likely be bored by it. It’s far too long and lacks the sense of wonderment & joy a film like this must have. I have three key points explaining why this isn’t at all fairytale movie:

  1. The film feels like it takes place in present day.
  2. Every song is either forgettable or unoriginal.
  3. The film revolves around modern-day political/social issues that children probably won’t understand and definitely should not be exposed to at a young age.

Point #1 – The film is completely unable to immerse the audience in the past for several reasons, namely the dialogue and set design. The dialects of nearly all this film’s characters contain present-day slang, much of which is far too crude for a PG-rated children’s movie. “Cinderella” contains phrases such as “side chick,” “frickin’,” & “yas queen,” and contains crude lines such as “most men are hos.” As for the set design, the production staff was clearly too lazy or incompetent to select props, costumes, and sets from one specific time period. In a single shot you can see people wearing clothes from both the 20th century and the 15th century. Without creating a clear setting, the audience simply won’t be as immersed as they could be.

Cinderella Review - IGN

Point #2 – As I previously stated, this film contains unoriginal songs. By unoriginal, I literally mean popular songs created outside of the film by different artists. The filmmakers were so lazy that they actually grabbed pre-existing songs instead of writing more new ones. Almost every music sequence unapologetically steals songs such as Material Girl, Am I Wrong, & Whatta Man. As for this film’s original songs, there are only three of them. This film has around fifteen songs in it (which is far too many in the first place), and only three of them are original. Plus, the songs that are original are terrible; autotune is turned up all the way to the point that your ears will ring.

Writer-Director Kay Cannon on Camila Cabello and 'Cinderella' - Variety

Point #3 – I’m of the opinion that real-world political/social issues should be kept out of movies (no matter if they’re left-leaning or right-leaning). The point of cinema is escapism; to be transported to a world and get invested in the characters & their journeys. Inserting political issues destroys the immersion and therefore prevents the film from even being true cinema. “Cinderella” is almost entirely focused on its political and social agendas (I won’t delve into specific details because this blog never gets political). The actual fairytale of Cinderella takes a backseat to political messages children shouldn’t be exposed to at a young age just so the filmmakers could show how “righteous” and “informed” they are. A movie should be made to entertain audiences, not to preach a filmmaker’s political beliefs.

2021’s “Cinderella” will leave you feeling miserable. This film makes the viewer wonder whether or not he/she is even watching a kid’s movie and what it’s target audience even was to begin with. This film is completely unoriginal and wastes any speck of potential it has by focusing almost exclusively on messaging. This is not an enjoyable film by any means, and it reflects some of modern Hollywood’s worst tendencies/habits.

Grade: F

On a side note, despite how abysmal “Cinderella” is, “The Little Things,” is still 2021’s worst movie by far. Here is my review of that catastrophe.

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