Directed and Written by: Kay Cannon
Starring: Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, with Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan
Plot: Cinderella is a musically-driven bold new take on the traditional story you grew up with. Our heroine (Cabello) is an ambitious young woman whose dreams are bigger than the world will allow, but with the help of her Fab G (Billy Porter), she is able to persevere and make her dreams come true.
Amazon Studios will release CINDERELLA on Prime Video September 3rd, 2021
I think my first thought when I found out about this release was, “Oh, another Cinderella movie?” But as they released information about the cast, my intrigue went up a little, and when they announced it would be a musical with a little bit of a bold take, I was invested, as I love when we get unique spins on old classics.
We open with Billy Porter narrating the movie breaking down the pieces of this little town, which breaks out into a musical. One of the things I wasn’t concerned with when going into this was Camila Cabello who easily had the singing chops to pull off Cinderella. She showcases this in the vibrant opening number that highlights her voice, the costume design and beautiful cinematography.
Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) turns down the offer to marry the daughter of Lord Reginal; much to the dismay of his father King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan). While King Rowan plays that sort of King that wants the best for himself, and somewhat his kid, this type of character is typical in this style of King/Queen type of films. One thing that makes this role stand out much more is Pierce Brosnan, and my goodness was this man made for this part. He is a great villainous King that delivers his lines in a fierce and commanding manner which you have to take seriously.
The musical side of the film really works, and I enjoyed the use of songs and musical beats throughout the movie. I loved how writer/director Kay Cannon took this age-old story and added a modern flair with the different eras of music used throughout. It starts with the opening number and it never stops throughout. The songs were perfectly placed and the song choice was crafted in a way that, at times, will have you singing along with the story. My favorite was hands down, the use of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Whatta Man.” I will be listening to this soundtrack for years to come. (Please come out on Vinyl)
Speaking more on Kay Cannon’s choices throughout the film, I highlight the brilliant way she introduced us to these characters. From our first meeting with King Rowan to our introduction to Prince Robert to the fantastic, charismatic introduction to Fab G played by Billy Porter.
The heart of Cinderella comes from the story of one less fortunate falling for the Prince but also realizing she wants to be herself and not this made for show Princess she would have to become. The pairing of Camila Cabello with Nicholas Galitzine works and their chemistry feels natural and makes Cinderella’s story come to life.
Which, speaking of Camila Cabello, it is surprising that this is her feature film lead debut as she knocks it out of the park. We all know she has this powerful voice, but needed to be shown that she could pull off a performance outside of the singing, and her magnificent acting reeled us into this world perfectly.
The rest of the cast is a delight, with the standout being Idina Menzel, as she is a great addition to any film, especially a musical. Her voice alone is a commanding presence you to pay attention to when she is on the screen. Billy Porter was probably my favorite part of the film because he is an absolute star who oozes confidence that draws you to his charismatic performance.
We hit a predictable bump across the film’s final act, but what Kay Cannon builds from start to finish with her creative twist at the end makes for an absolute blast of a movie.
The Verdict: B+
Cinderella is delightful, fun and unique take on a classic tale.