This revisionist reconstruction of the Cinderella saga is so sassy, saucy and sexy, it is a joy to behold. It fills you with warm cuddly thoughts about how wonderful this world can be if we can get our wishes from the woosh of a wand.
Speaking of which, the fairy godmother is here played by the ultra-talented black American singer comedian Bill Porter. His extended cameo in a shimmering gown is a hoot. I would pay a fortune to watch a whole film about the fairy godmother if she is played by Porter.
Maybe some other time. Right now Cinderella must rush to the ball at the royal palace to meet Prince Robert(Nicholas Galitzine) who is a prince by lineage and a democrat by heart.
As played by the Cuban American singer turned actress Camilla Cabello, Cinderella sparkles with an earthy charm and a ravishing resilience. This Cinderella doesn’t want to marry the prince and “settle down”(whatever that means). She wants to become a dress designer and travel the world with her creation. And that pair of glass shoes, they are most uncomfortable on her feet.
Writer-director Kay Cannon’s innovations are pert and provocative. She plays around with the original fairytale, flirting with the time-tested material, precociously polishing the rough edges, sneakily streamlining the stereotypes, filling up the edges with a maelstrom of music and songs. The end-result is a sparkling slinky saga that sings and dances to the audience.
While there is no end to the innovations and embellishments that make the original Cinderella look prissy I must mention Cinderella’s three pet mice who turn into her stagecoach drivers. One of them is played by comic actor of Sri Lankan origin Romesh Ranganathan.
By the time Cinderella’s stepmother (Idina Menzel) gets together with her two stepdaughters to sing Madonna’s Material Girl I knew exactly why the stepmother was so cruel to Cinderella. Pumpkins, stagecoaches and glass shoes are all very well. But at the end of the week, there are bills to pay. While the workaday worries well up in the background there is much singing and dancing and rejoicing on the screen to partake of. And yes , the very likeable. Pierce Brosnon and Minnie Driver playing the King and Queen also join in the singing and dancing. And some critics are still carping?
Image source: Amazon, Instagram/camila_cabello/primevideoin