‘Cinderella 2021’: Another remake nobody needed


Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Disney and Amazon partnered to create another Cinderella remake, starring Camila Cabello, which was released on September 3.

Marcela Ferrufino, Senior Arts Contributor

On September 3rd, Disney released another live remake of “Cinderella” to Amazon Prime. It was directed by Kay Connon and starred singer-songwriter Camila Cabello. In this remake, the classic story of “Cinderella” is told in a modern musical style, adding its own twists and turns from the original film. However, its goal to come off as inspirational and exciting is rather flat and instead feels downright ridiculous. 

The biggest issue I have with this remake is how shallow this Cinderella is compared to the original version. In Disney’s “Cinderella,” Cinderella is a kind-hearted and positive spirit despite all the abuse she receives from her cruel step-family. In this version, Cinderella is ambitious but appears dull and ungrateful for the good things she has or is getting around her. In one instance, the prince disguises himself as a townsperson and tells Cinderella he could buy the dress she was selling. Instead of being kind and friendly to her first customer, she rudely questions him and is hostile. Overall, Cinderella feels more like a side character; you do not really root for her since her only purpose is to stand there and give quirky and relatable feedback.

Though this is supposed to be a remake with its own unique add-ons, it should still attempt to stay loyal to the original film. Cinderella would not be Cinderella without her terrible step-family, but in this film, they are not at all controlling or demanding. If anything, it seems like she gets along with them. The movie tries to make you sympathize with her since she is “confined” to her dressmaking basement, but how can the audience do so when she can leave at any second if she wishes?

The most important plot twist of this remake is that Cinderella wants to become the owner of her own dressmaking business much more than she wants to be with the prince. Though this is supposed to be viewed as a power move, it is more preposterous than anything. For one thing, in the late 1800s, most garments were made and sold by women, so it would not have been a challenge for Cinderella to own a business. For another, once Cinderella does succeed in creating her business, it does not feel satisfying for the audience as Cinderella’s plotline to get there was not deserving or relevant.

Another unique aspect of Amazon’s remake is that it’s a musical rather than a regular movie. Many different songs are woven into the plot, the majority covering original pieces and others written explicitly for the film. Though I did enjoy a few of them, like the mashup of “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa featuring En Vogue and ”Seven Nation Army” by White Stripes, many felt too unnecessary. I especially disliked Ben Bailey Smith’s raps that served as a transitioner to summarize what had happened in the story and to move it along; it would just ultimately feel more like an accessory rather than an element with real purpose.

The last issue I have with this movie is the prince, played by Nicholas Galitzine, and the character they made him out to be. I fully support the idea of giving the prince more personality than he had in the original film, but what this remake decided to do was just awful. Prince Robert is an immature and rather annoying add-on, attempting to make it look like he grows throughout the movie when in reality, he stays the same exact mundane character that he was initially. 

This movie could have had potential if the story was told very differently that was not at all related to “Cinderella.” An improved plotline could have been a poor woman trying to achieve her faraway dreams with the discouragement and objections of society. There is no need for a lousy prince or pointless step-family, and especially a modern twist that makes the film feel messy and ridiculous. Though some remakes of “Cinderella” have been acceptable, the 2021 version is unfortunately far from it.