Review: Amazon Prime’s ‘Cinderella’ remake falls short

"Cinderella," starring Camila Cabello, premiered on Amazon Prime Video Sept. 3. Photo courtesy of IMDb

By Katelyn Patterson | Reporter

Cinderella is a romantic musical film based on the fairy tale of the same name written by Charles Perrault. The 2021 release offers a new spin on “Cinderella,” one in which Ella, the main character, is looking to pursue her dream of selling her fashion, rather than finding her prince charming. Camila Cabello, in her acting debut, plays the main character starring alongside well-known actors and actresses, such as Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver and Billie Porter.

The movie, which was released Sept. 3 on Amazon Prime Video, maintains parts of the original plot, including Ella as the stepchild of a widow and living with her stepmother and two stepsisters. There is still a ball and Ella is not allowed to attend until she gains help from a bit of magic.

I had seen some clips of the movie and its songs posted on Twitter, along with a few tweets discussing how people were making fun of the movie in general as well as Cabello. Regardless of my preconceived notions, I decided to give it a try, as I usually love “Cinderella” remakes — even if I do think there are quite a few.

The idea of “Cinderella” with a modern, feminist twist is a good one, especially today, but the idea was poorly executed in this case. Attempts to be funny and relatable fell flat and felt forced throughout the movie. Cabello’s performance was lacking, both in the acting and the musical aspects of the film.

As mentioned before, there is a twist — one that will not be explained in detail as to not spoil the movie. Straying from the original plot, Ella dreams of selling her fashion designs on her own without the help of a man. She does not want to be tied down in a relationship and instead wants to be independent.

The movie is a musical but, apart from a couple of songs, the music was mostly covers of popular songs rather than originals. This took away from the experience, as the covers were mediocre at best. The best comparison that I came up with was this: “Cinderella” (2021) is a movie version of Glee.

Overall, as lackluster as the performance was by the cast, the movie wasn’t completely terrible. The plot and spin on the original fairy tale were a new look. It was a good movie to take my mind off of homework and classes.