Cinderella 2021: a disappointing spin on a classic fairy tale

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Abby Crespin, Editor-in-Chief

Last month, Amazon Prime Video released a 2021 adaptation of Cinderella, which told the story of a girl named Ella. With the help of her fairy godmother, Ella used a prince’s ball as an opportunity to achieve her dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

To be frank, Cinderella sucked. As the movie progressed, each scene grew worse and worse to the point where I had trouble restraining myself from clicking the off button on my remote. This is not to say that I didn’t find the movie entertaining, nor do I regret watching it, but from an analytical standpoint it was mediocre at best. 

There are a multitude of reasons that contribute to why this movie was so dreadful. I think that the main reason is that the writing was simply bad. 

It lacked consistency and direction. The entire movie felt as if it were having an identity crisis, like a teengager going through puberty. Some of the scenes were soft and dramatic, resembling a period drama, while others were fast paced and modern. While I value a film with a diverse set of scenes, they didn’t connect or feed into a larger purpose or theme. For instance, the classic mice characters were featured in multiple scenes, however, they didn’t actually contribute to the overall plot. Everything was just so random, it was frustrating to watch. 

In addition to this, ​​all of the 2000s pop-era music in combination with poor costumes and set design left me confused as to what era the movie was set in. The plot focuses on a kingdom, so it must have been back in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, but the modern music and language did not match. 

I’ve never been an exceptional singer or dancer, but it does not take an expert to point out the strikingly poor musical numbers. Honestly, the film might not have been as bad as it was had it not been a musical. The singing itself wasn’t necessarily horrible, but the actors felt the need to belt out every single line of every single number. There was no character development, and hardly any emotion behind any of the songs. Perhaps the decision to cast Camilla Cabello, who barely deserves a spot as an artist much less an actor, as Cinderella, led to this, or the fact that the directors had Idina Menzel in their cast yet chose to have her sing “Material Girlby Madonna. 

The choice to use only pop songs is an issue in and of itself, but the fact that the only number I actually enjoyed was an Ed Sheeran song is a problem. 

This film had a lot of potential with a strong initial concept and famous cast members, but its poor choice in music, lack of consistency and direction, as well as the bad acting completely diminish any potential or possibly it had to be good. It attempts to paint a picture of a new, hardworking Cinderella that doesn’t need a prince to save her, but it does so inadequately and unnecessarily. Cinderella, the original fairytale, is a tale about a girl trapped in a poor family situation who, through a miracle, finds rescue in marrying the prince. It’s a story of hope and prosperity. The 2021 adaptation takes the plot of the original fairytale, yet it disregards the overall theme in an attempt to “girlbossify” a story that didn’t need to be changed.